Crisis in Maldives Avant Garde involvement speculated – Rajitha

Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne hinted that there might be a possibility that controversial security firm Avant Garde might be involved in the unrest in the Maldives.

He added that the Avant Garde ship, which was seized by the Navy in early October 2015, has its GPS (Global Positioning System) turned off. "A ship must always have its GPS turned on.  That is how nations know what ships pass through their territorial waters. But the Avant Garde, confiscated by the Navy, had its GPS turned off while it was passing the Maldives during the crisis period. This gives rise to speculations," he said.

Senaratne said the Navy Commander was deeply concerned by this and had requested an in-depth probe. "This was not the only cause for concern.

There were other disconcerting matters. When Sea Marshals leave for another country, they are flown to their destinations. The weapons taken for the use of these Marshals must be given to the security authorities of that country. However, when the Avant Garde was operating in Nigeria, the weapons on board had been handed over to a private entity. This is something that needs to be looked into" he added.

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