Gardaí to probe claim that Nama official received €15k bribe

Gardaí are to investigate claims that a Nama official sought and received a €15,000 bribe in a bag from a construction company so it could be allowed leave the agency.

Gardaí to probe claim that Nama official received €15k bribe

Garda fraud experts will probe alleged criminality at Nama after new claims were made by independent TD Mick Wallace in the Dáil.

The development comes as Stormont’s finance committee continues its hearings into separate claims that huge fees were paid out for the sale of Nama property in the North.

During leaders’ questions, Mr Wallace put a number of allegations to Taoiseach Enda Kenny as he again called for an independent inquiry into Nama’s actions.

Mr Wallace said he knew of a construction company that wanted to exit the agency and discharge its debts. When it asked the manager of its portfolio, it was told to pay €15,000 in a bag, Mr Wallace claimed. “Two weeks later, the company delivered the money. A few weeks later he demanded the same again.”

Mr Wallace asked if Mr Kenny knew how many barristers, judges, solicitors, top-four accountancy firm partners, and bankers were in syndicates. He said these syndicates were set up by Goodbody Stockbrokers, Anglo Private, Bank of Ireland Private, AIB Private, Davy, Warren and Quinlan, and transferred to Nama, but that the agency had not enforced or taken action despite personal guarantees being attached.

“Nama is responsible for some people being tossed out of their homes, but it looks like some of the great and good of Irish society are blessed with Nama’s goodwill,” Mr Wallace said.

He also questioned the role played by John Moran, the former secretary general of the Department of Finance, in Nama’s handling of the Corin Group portfolio.

Nama said yesterday that the separate claims made by Mr Wallace were untrue.

Chief executive Brendan McDonagh wrote to Garda commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan, asking the force to look into the bribery claims as they “cast a shadow” over all Nama officers.

Gardaí said last night that chief superintendent Patrick Lorden, of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, would examine the allegations. If any wrongdoing or criminality is found, action would then be taken, Garda sources said.

It is expected that Mr Wallace and Nama will be questioned during the inquiry, before an interim report is produced for Ms O’Sullivan.

Gardaí have already been involved in 16 separate cases relating to Nama.

The inquiry comes after Mr Wallace’s recent claim that £7m paid into an Isle of Man account in connection with Nama’s Northern property portfolio sale was “earmarked” for a politician or party.

This led to calls for a commission of investigation. However, Mr Kenny said yesterday that the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee was the place to resolve the claims about Nama.

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