An undeclared number of servicemen have deserted the armed forces and are subject to penalty according to the Armed Forces Act. The servicemen are currently being searched for by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).
The search is being considered a special operation under the Armed Forces Act, reports Haveeru.
The decision to take action against servicemen who leave service without permission or warning was made last year by the Defence Ministry, which cited the Armed Forces Act as point of reference.
Article 32(b) states that a serviceman is deemed absent without leave where he fails to report for work for 14 days without authorisation, or where he fails to report to work or objects to report to work where an order is given in accordance with the Act by a superior in an emergency.
The act outlines penalties including arrest of various duration, fines, termination of service, institutional proceedings, and others outlined in subsequent regulations.