Three Home Office staff members racked up an £18,000 bill staying nine weeks at a luxury holiday resort in the Caribbean.
The Border Force officials spent 64 days at the Sugar Ridge Resort in Antigua which is one of the world’s top destinations for honeymooners.
The resort has infinity pools, beach bars, swimming pools and a gourmet restaurant with stunning views across the sea.
On Sugar Ridge’s website, it states that guests can ‘enjoy drinks from the bar or waiter service right to your poolside lounger and Happy hour 4.30pm until 6.30pm daily.’
The three officials were in Antigua to advise local authorities about combating drug trafficking between January 14 and February 5, 2016.
The details of the trip were given to MailOnline after a long-running Freedom of Information battle.
The bill included £12,126 for accommodation, £4,144 for subsistence, £1,310 for car hire and £994 for flights.
The Home Office said the officials had been invited by the Antiguan Customs authorities to help combat the smuggling of Class A drugs from South America.
The department stressed the ‘safety and security’ of the officials was the reason they stayed at Sugar Ridge as drugs gangs might have had them followed.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Border Force would usually select a business chain hotel but none exist on the island, nor are there any hotels within the airport complex.
‘Sugar Ridge, whilst some distance away, offered the requisite level of security as recommended by National Crime Agency and Foreign and Commonwealth Office colleagues.
‘During this deployment, and at the invitation of the Antigua Customs authorities, the UK Border Force staff provided practical assistance and training for local customs officers in border protection techniques and how to prevent current smuggling methodologies.
‘The officers selected for deployment were based within the Caribbean region and travelled by economy flights.’
Chloe Westley, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told MailOnline: ‘This is just ridiculous.
‘Hard pressed families who work hard and pay their taxes could only dream of experiencing some of the luxuries that these officials have taken for granted on the public purse.’
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