Malta to Maldives: Unfolding the armory corrupt deal – (Part I )

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I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”                                             Douglas MacArthur

  • What was the Malta deal that was in news in 2015?
  • What secret was enclosed in the letter that Yameen handed Adeeb to pass to Malta’s President?
  • Did Yameen risk nation’s security to make another corrupt deal?
  • Then Opposition’s quick intervening in the case saved Maldives?

On 25th March’22, the opposition coalition PPM and leader Abdulla Yameen carried out yet another ‘India Out’ protest. The aftermaths of the protest, where arrests were made for obstruction of justice and for conducting mass rally that was not in alignment with the Peaceful Assembly of Act— Yameen commented, hinting that if his party was in power, the police dismantling the protest would have been removed from their posts.

India Out’ is a movement called by Yameen and his supporters as a voice against the Indian Military presence in Maldives. They claim that it is a threat to national security. But critics have made their opinions, stating that the campaign is a very well executed propaganda to gain political millage.

UTF agreement (The agreement that ignited the ‘India Out’ movement):

The agreement was signed between India and Maldives on 21 Feb 2021. Despite the government’s declaration that the agreement holds no national threat, the opposition kept steering the wheel of accusations, creating their own narratives and started instilling fears in the hearts of the common public. So, are the claims true, are foreign military boots tyrannizing the Maldives soil?

The Defence Minister of Maldives has been very clear in giving out statements that Indian military personnel cannot operate freely in Maldives, and that their operations and their stay duration will all need to be approved by the Maldivian government.

What is the Outcry about if clarification has been given by govt?

Initially people bought Yameen’s idea of the ‘India Out’ campaign, but over the years, people started seeing the lies and manipulation. Yameen started to grow irrelevant as many were of the opinion that he did not have any other agenda or campaign to run for 2023 presidential elections. He is very well aware that the only way to get attention is by flaming this issue that has not been proven but is running at the potential of his creative ways to fabricate scenarios and lie about national security, independence and sovereignty.

Is Yameen really a patriot, does he care about our nation as much as he advocates in rallies?

One would really mistake Yameen for a very country loving person but it was not that long ago that he risked Maldives of the greatest national threat.

Yes, in the year 2015 the government was scheming to set up a private armory in a northern island in the Maldives, to cater to the demand for maritime security for ships transiting the Indian Ocean.

Red Flags regarding the set up of this armory:

  • In Oct 2015, Malta’s Marshall Consultants Group, Safety at Sea Logistics Ltd. (SASL) company confirmed plans to build a private armory in Haa Alif Atoll Uligan.
  • An island in Maldives that straddles the eight-degree channel, along the Gulf of Oman and Red Sea shipping lanes.

It was stated that the armory would have been supervised by the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF) but according to sources, MNDF had declined requests for an armory in Uligan, saying it does not have the resources to deploy soldiers in the remote north.Private maritime security is a profit-making business.

Opposition intervened the plans to set up this arms hub:

  • Mps from the then opposition raised concerns, fearing that –
  • The deal for the private armory could facilitate trade in arms
  • Possibility of terrorist attacks in Maldives due to growing insecurities in the wake of arm deals
  • Growing outflow of Maldivians fleeing to Syria to take part in terror crimes
  • The government at that time denied the existence of the deal but reports and statements by various people, suggests the opposite.

The Malta-Maldives Deal: Was Adeeb on an official trip to pass a secret message from Yameen?

Adeeb has been one of the closest aide of Yameen during his presidential time. They were practically the Maldivian version of ‘Bonnie and Clyde,’ except that in this case, it had two male allies who quickly turned into frenemies.

It was in Aug, 2015 that the ex Vice President Ahmed Adeeb met with the President of Malta and presented a letter from President Abdulla Yameen.

Till to this day, the contents of the letter has not been disclosed and many speculate that this could have been the time when the signing of the deal took place.

Friends to Frenemies: Adeeb & Yameen-

If we closely follow suit of the events that let to the downfall of brotherhood between the two, you would see that Yameen and PPM had used Adeeb as its sacrificial goat. Following the Malta visit by Adeeb in Aug, a minor blast on the presidential speedboat in Sept, had resulted in the arrest and impeachment of the vice president. The attack was labeled as a bomb plot by the government.

The country’s biggest ever tourism scandal, “MMPRC Scandal”:

The AG who reported the scandal gave statements that when he reported the involvement of Adeeb in the corruption to Yameen, he pushed him away saying it was not his duty to overlook this matter.

The AG blamed Yameen that despite the President being informed early on, he kept a blind eye. The reason behind Yameen’s stand on the corruption scandal was exposed later on in 2018 when he was also found guilty of laundering US$1 million and was sentenced to five years of jail.

Adeeb Exposes Yameen:

Adeeb claims that Yameen had equal shares in the corruption and while Yameen sat behind closed doors counting illegal money laundered from island deals, it was Adeeb who ran the country.Adeeb is facing numerous charges in jail. But he is adamant on his claims that Yameen had used him for his dirty politics.

His statement is convincing because Adeeb was practically the President’s right-hand. He knew far too many secrets of Yameen, which posed as a danger. The Malta agreement deal and the bomb attack incidentally coincides too. This maybe a far-fetched assumption but the bomb attack could have been a cover up to divert attention from the opposition and media’s prying eyes from the armory deal. This is what you could call “killing two birds with one stone.”

Follow the second part of this article, where we profile the owner of SASL and disclose the whole nexus of the illegal activities carried by the company.