Dutch soldiers arrested on cocaine charges in Newcastle
Four Dutch soldiers were arrested in Newcastle, England, on allegations that they were using cocaine. Their arrest was confirmed by their attorney and the Marechaussee, the Dutch military branch that handles policing such cases for the Ministry of Defense, the Telegraaf reported on Thursday.
The soldiers were arrested during Northumbria Police investigations into the nightlife in Newcastle. They are part of the 13 Light Brigade of the Royal Netherlands Army, the Telegraaf reported.
The four soldiers were promptly fired, but intend to challenge their dismissal, the newspaper said. It is not yet clear if others were also guilty of drug use in Newcastle. Members of the military found to have been guilty of illegal drug use are typically fired as the Ministry of Defense has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug use and the handling of weaponry, the Telegraaf reported.
The 13 Light Brigade is in the United Kingdom assisting with the basic training of Ukrainian military recruits as part of Operation Interflex, which was launched last summer. “In five weeks they learn tactical training, weapon theory and shooting training, medical care, humanitarian law of war and how to deal with explosives and cyber threats. After training, the soldiers leave for the front,” the Dutch Ministry of Defense said in an overview of military support to Ukraine.
“The Netherlands has been supplying dozens of instructors for training since October 2022.”
The police in Northumbria released a statement last Friday updating the public on Operation Redeemer, which uses uniformed and plain-clothes officers to identify criminals and help potential victims. “Our region is well-known for a having a safe and vibrant nightlife and we are proud of the role we play within this,” said Northumbria Police Chief Inspector David Wheeler.
“I want to be clear that we will continue to closely monitor the Night Time Economy and bring those responsible for taking part in this type of predatory offending to justice as swiftly as possible.”