Norway booting 30 royal guard members for illegal drug use

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Thirty members of Norway’s prestigious royal guards unit will be booted out for using illegal drugs while on leave, the Norwegian armed forces said Wednesday.

The military was tipped off about illegal drug use among conscripts during a private party this summer. Five initially admitted taking drugs but 25 more eventually confessed they had done the same.

All 30 were members of the His Majesty the King’s Guard army unit, Norwegian broadcaster NRK and the VG newspaper said.

Armed forces spokesman Brage Steinson Wiik-Hansen told NRK the conscripts will now be discharged from the military.

No details were given on what kind of drugs they took. Norway made military service mandatory for men and women in 2015.

“All personnel in the armed forces have a duty to notify if they discover or become aware of dealing with illegal drugs among employees or conscripts,” Steinson Wiik-Hansen told NRK.

The King’s Guard is tasked with protecting Norway’s royal family. Its members perform a changing of the guard outside the royal palace in Oslo every day, sporting a dark blue uniform with a plumed bowler hat.

The unit also performs for special occasions, including the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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