(Prensa Latina) Colombian militaries’ switch to the United Arab Emirates has triggered a controversy and discontent in sectors of the Colombian Army because troops considered expert are quitting the country’s forces.

A report by Semana magazine reveals more than 800 ex militaries have enlisted in the UAE Army that pays them USD$18,000 a month, in what the journal terms “an endless drain.”

According to Semana, the reason for their hanging the uniform after 10 or 15 years on duty is as exotic as it is controversial.

They have recruited people with great experience in combat, valuable men with years in the service on whom the Army has invested heavy, said a general quoted by the journal.

A loss about which not much can be done, as this is no illegal, he said.

According to the source, whose identity was not revealed, the Colombian Army is powerless in fighting this kind of recruiting.

“We can do nothing to keep them and prevent them from requesting their leave because it is a matter of supply and demand. They are paid five and even ten times the salary they get here to go to the UAE,” he said.

Semana recalled that the latest such situation of Colombian militaries leaving the Army for contracts abroad triggered a series of scandals because they were hired as mercenaries to operate in Iraq.