Police have launched an investigation into the incident where reporters from the online news outlet 'Dhiyares' attempted to enter Uthuru Thila Falhu UTF, where the Maldives National Defense Force MNDF is building a port dedicated to military purposes.
Reporters from the outlet attempted to enter UTF on a speed yesterday claiming that they were there to see the area where President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said that he would be giving land plots to Male' residents.
After the incident, MNDF said today in a statement that it had bought the trespassing incident to the attention of Police today.
Police confirmed to 'The Press' that a trespassing incident at UTF was reported to Police on the 24th of this month. It further said that Police have now launched an investigation into the incident.
MNDF said in a statement last night that the President had declared that some areas of the vast lagoon would be developed as a residential area. MNDF said that this residential area is separate from the area being developed as a military port and that the reporters have entered this area without obtaining prior permission from the armed forces.
MNDF said that it had recently arranged a tour for the media to show the reporters the port being built on the land and described the attempt to trespass on the island without obtaining the required permission as an act of defiance against the law and the duties and responsibilities of MNDF.
The armed forces said that its military bases are off limits without permission from MNDF and preventing any individual from trespassing into the bases is a must for MNDF soldiers under the Armed Forces Act. It further said that a soldier with the rank of Sergent First Class had acted as per the rules when the reporters attempted to get on the island.
MNDF further said that it would view trespassing into military bases as a serious offense and that it had granted its soldiers permission to use weapons against any individuals who are attempting to trespass into the bases. It added that this was the practice at most of the military installations across the country.