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British soldiers busted for cocaine use in Cyprus

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Ten British soldiers stationed in Cyprus face being kicked out of the army after binging on cocaine during a night out in Paphos.

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, it is one of the biggest single cases of cocaine abuse in British army history, “the troops failed drug tests at their top security base in Cyprus”.

A British military spokesperson told the Financial Mirror: “The Army does not tolerate drug abuse within its ranks as it is incompatible with military service and operational effectiveness.

“Army personnel caught taking drugs can expect to be discharged.”

They binged on the Class A drug on a night out in Paphos, 30 miles from their base at Episkopi Garrison, said the Daily Mail.

It is understood they returned to base in the early hours to be confronted by army drug testers.

Military police have now launched an investigation into drug-taking by soldiers on the island, which the Mail has been told is ‘rife’.

Defence sources said the drugs test took place at the end of April. Everyone in the 500-strong group serving at the base was tested.

Episkopi-based, the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment (2 Yorks), was given the army’s Experimentation Battlegroup role two months ago, with special forces officers drafted in to oversee the transition.

The battlegroup is said to sit at the vanguard of the army’s approach to ‘prototype warfare’, which involves new technologies such as drones and robots.

The drugs binge by the soldiers is particularly embarrassing for army command, given the battalion’s high-profile role and the investment being poured into it.

The 2 Yorks was founded in 2004 as part of a restructuring of infantry. It was previously known as the 1st Battalion, Green Howards.

Soldiers from the battalion are responsible for guarding RAF Akrotiri, the largest airbase outside the UK.

Hundreds of bombing missions against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were launched from the base.