Male: Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, who has been running the "India Out" campaign in the archipelago, was involved in a secret deal with a Maltese company during his presidency to set up a private armoury in a northern Island of the country, a media report said.

In the August of 2015, the then Maldivian Vice President and a close aide of Yameen, Ahmed Adeeb met with the President of Malta and presented a letter from President Abdulla Yameen, the contents of which are unknown, Maldives Voice reported.

Soon after, in the October of the same year, Malta's Marshall Consultants Group, Safety at Sea Logistics Ltd. (SASL) company confirmed plans to build a private armoury in Haa Alif Atoll Uligan in Northern Maldives.

The Uligan island straddles the eight-degree channel, along the Gulf of Oman and Red Sea shipping lanes.

It was stated that the armoury would have been supervised by the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF), but, MNDF had declined requests for an armoury in Uligan, saying it does not have the resources to deploy soldiers in the remote north, the report said citing sources.

The Opposition immediately picked up on the issue saying that the private armoury deal could facilitate trade in arms, and encourage terror attacks in the Maldives in the wake of the availability of arms, the report said, adding that the Opposition prompted the Yameen administration to deny the existence of the deal.

However, Parliament Speaker and Former President Mohamed Nasheed in a recent parliament sitting made chilling statements that the Yameen's signing of the Malta deal existed.

Following the Malta visit by Adeeb in August, a minor blast on the presidential speedboat in September resulted in the arrest and impeachment of Vice President Adeeb. The report went on to claim that the bomb attack could have been a cover-up to divert the attention of the Opposition and the media's prying eyes from the armoury deal.

The SASL's plan to build a land and floating armoury in Haa Alif Atoll Uligan was because of its Geostrategic importance, the report said.

Large vessels carrying goods travel just north of the Maldives. Due to the risk of sea robbery in some areas, the vessels are assisted by armed guards. If a vessel crossing the area sought services from the SASL unit in Uligan, the armed SASL guards would board the vessel by speedboats and would guard the vessel until it reached its destination.

The company SASL had many red flags from the beginning with its Managing Director James Fenech having a track record of shady arms dealings in Libya, the report said.

Without the quick intervention by the then opposition into the matter and the continuous work by the then media outlets to look into it, the report said, the Maldives would have been facing challenges to its independence, sovereignty and national security, which are incidentally the same topics that Yameen regularly rakes up these days.

The deal going through to its logical conclusion would have made Maldives the 'largest illegal arms supplier' from the Indian Ocean, the report said.