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SQUADDIES' KOSOVO LAP-DANCING SHAME; Marines found in sex den after going walkabout.

Byline: JEREMY ARMSTRONG

SQUADDIE SHOCKER 1

THREE Royal Marines have been sent home to Scotland after being found drunk in a lap-dancing bar while on duty in Kosovo.

One of the squaddies was writhing naked around a pole with a go-go girl when military top brass turned up.

The trio, who were on peace-keeping duties in war-ravaged Pristina, sparked a security alert when they went missing following a concert for the troops.

Army chiefs feared they had been kidnapped and began a frantic search of the city.

But the men, all attached to 45 Commando, based in Arbroath, were eventually found in the seedy sex den surrounded by lap-dancers in the early hours of the following morning.

Two were slumped over a table asleep, the third was naked.

A troop insider said: "No one knew that anyone was missing until one of these lads was needed.

"When it was discovered they were missing, all hell broke loose. Everyone thought they had been kidnapped. Hours later, we were stood down when these three were escorted back and we heard the real tale.

"Apparently they were plastered. One of them was naked, wrapped around a pole with a lap dancer."

The trio were unarmed and in full uniform when their drink binge took them into some of the most dangerous parts of Pristina.

The insider added: "They took their life in their hands going into the city in uniform, in darkness and without protection. There are snipers all over the place. It's amazing they weren't shot.

"And they put others in danger as well, having to go and look for them. It's really volatile here. Anything can happen. But they are in for it now."

One of the three is a junior NCO, a gunner holding the rank of Lance Bombardier. The two others are Marines, the equivalent rank of Private in the regular Army.

All three were heavily fined and sent back to the Arbroath base in disgrace.

An MoD spokesman said: "I can confirm that three soldiers were sent back home after they went missing from a troop Christmas concert and were discovered in a lap-dancing bar.

"I can also confirm that one of the those involved was found naked in the bar. The three involved were dealt with summarily by their commanding officer and were sent home with a black mark on their careers."

Royal Marines spokesman Major Paul Harradine said last night: "This sort of behaviour is absolutely not tolerated, and especially on operations.

"These men have let down both 45 Commando and the whole Brigade in Kosovo, who have so far had a very successful tour."

The 600-strong 45 Commando unit was on a six-month peace-keeping tour in Kosovo when the incident happened on December 17.

They had been due to return home in March.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 11, 2001
Words:468
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