TIRANA, Albania — Albania’s Defense Ministry says it has lodged criminal charges against four military officers who allegedly deserted after training in Britain.

A statement the ministry issued on Thursday said the four army officers did not return to Albania after “doing their duty abroad.” It said authorities have been investigating the case for some weeks.

An Albanian online media site, Balkanweb, said the officers were part of a group of military personnel taking part in a training mission in Britain.

Albania, a NATO member since 2009, participates in international peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Mali and the Aegean Sea.