Three Secret Service agents protecting US President Barack Obama in Amsterdam this week were sent home and put on leave after a night of drinking, The Washington Post reports.
“One of them was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway,” the Post reported, citing three unnamed people familiar with the case.
The latest eye-raising incident recalls the April 2012 scandal involving Secret Service agents and prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia.
And in this case, “the alleged behaviour would violate new Secret Service rules adopted” after the scandal in Colombia that involved agents drinking and bringing prostitutes to their hotel before Obama arrived in the Colombian Caribbean resort city, the Post reported.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed the agency “did send three employees home for disciplinary reasons” and that they were put on administrative leave pending an investigation. Donovan declined to comment further, the Post added.
The incident happened before Obama arrived in the country on Monday and did not compromise his security in any way, Donovan said.
The newspaper said all three were on the Counter Assault Team, which defends the president if he comes under attack, and that one agent was a “team leader”.
One agent was discovered highly intoxicated by staff at a hotel, who reported it to the US embassy, said a person familiar with the situation.
The other two agents were deemed complicit because they didn’t intervene despite being in a position to assist the drunken agent or tamp down his behaviour, the person said.
“It wasn’t like a big, crazy party,” the person said.
Obama arrived in The Netherlands early on Monday on the first leg of a week-long, four-country trip. He departed for Brussels on Tuesday night, and there were no known security issues during his stay in The Netherlands.