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Eight suspects identified over sale of Nama Project Eagle portfolio

The agency took over the investigation in 2015.

Image: Shutterstock/Kouze59

THE UK AGENCY leading the investigation into the £1.2 billion sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland “Project Eagle” property portfolio says it has identified eight suspects.

The National Crime Agency in the UK says that the investigation into the loan portfolio to a US investment fund in 2014 was a “complex” one.

The agency took over the investigation in 2015. In a statement to TheJournal.ie, it said that it will brief the inquiry into the sale next month.

“This is a complex investigation, with an international scope and examining events over a seven-year period. It remains on-going and is one of the priority operations within the NCA.

“As you would expect for an ongoing complex investigation, we are regularly liaising with the Public Prosecution Service NI.

To date, we have interviewed 61 witnesses from a number of countries. 8 suspects have been identified, seven of which have been interviewed and three of those were arrested, with one remaining on police bail.

“A large number of documents have been received and are still being reviewed. We will take the time necessary to investigate properly and comprehensively.”

Commission

An non-criminal judge-led commission of investigation, established by the Oireachtas, which is into the sale will investigate:

  1. Whether or not the disposal strategy used was ‘appropriate’
  2. If the minimum price applied to the sale was appropriate
  3. If the management of the sales process was appropriate from the point of view of corporate governance
  4. If conflicts of interest regarding the agency’s Northern Irish advisory committee were appropriately handled
  5. When and how Nama became aware of fees allegedly paid to members of that committee by bidders on the loan book, and
  6. If decisions made by both Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and his Department in relation to the sale were appropriate

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The investigation was initially confirmed last September in the fallout from the publication of a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General into the sale of the Northern Irish loan book, otherwise known as Project Eagle, to US property fund Cerberus Capital in April 2014.

Nama declined to comment.

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