Three British men have been arrested in Mauritius on suspicion of smuggling around £1million worth of heroin.

The trio were allegedly found with a haul of drugs, but their family claim they were kidnapped while on holiday in Kenya and forced to transport the heroin to the island off the coast of Africa.

They were arrested in Mauritius at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam airport with more than 3.3kg of heroin, according to local media. 

The three men, all from Devon, have told their families they were forced to transport drugs after being kidnapped by a gang in Kenya, threatened with guns and held in a hotel.

Armed men threatened to burn their homes back in the south west of England and showed them they knew the locations on Google Maps, it was claimed.

Their families have called for the Foreign Office to step in after pictures emerged of the men in hospital, holding up signs and begging for help.

Leon Garbutt claimed the friends, including at least one member of his own family, said they were being held hostage in a hotel room before they were arrested.

He said he was distraught at the news and is now urging the Foreign Office to help.

And they have now been pictured in a hospital holding signs which also state they have no clean water to drink.

Since photos emerged of the men, two of whom are from Paignton and one from Torquay, in hospital beds the family say the trio have been moved to prison.

Mr Garbutt said: ‘All three are in a hospital in Mauritius. Somehow one got his hands on a phone and called home. Basically we had a very brief conversation.

‘They were in Kenya and were took to a hotel by a gang of men. All I’ve been told is that they were held hostage in a hotel room in Kenya for four days.

‘They were shown photos of their homes from Google maps, taunted with guns then told their homes will be torched if they didn’t do as told.

‘They were on a lads holiday in Kenya. I believe they were forced to take drugs to Mauritius.’

According to local media reports the three men were due to stay in a bungalow at the picturesque Flic-en-Flac report in the west of the Indian Ocean Island.

Mr Garbutt said the family were distraught, adding: ‘I haven’t slept for two days. My parents are worried sick too.

‘The British Embassy has been informed by all three families. At the moment I’m waiting for the Foreign Office to get back in touch.’ 

The Foreign Office said it is aware of the reports but would not comment on the specific details.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman told the Mail Online: ‘Our staff have visited three British men in detention in Mauritius and are providing support to them and their families back in the UK. We are also in contact with the local authorities.’

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