Friday 21 October 2016

Gardai to probe Wallace's claims of Nama bribery

TD Mick Wallace says he stands by his allegations '100 per cent'
TD Mick Wallace says he stands by his allegations '100 per cent'

A GARDA investigation is under way after politician Mick Wallace claimed an unnamed National Assets Management Agency (Nama) official sought and received a €15,000 bribe.

The move came after Nama wrote to Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan requesting that the latest allegation by the Independent TD be investigated "as a matter of urgency".


Mr Wallace told the Dail yesterday that a portfolio manager twice asked a construction firm for €15,000 "in a bag in cash" in return for being allowed to exit Nama.

"They duly obliged and all was sorted," Mr Wallace said.

The claim was one of a number of fresh allegations made by Mr Wallace.

Previous allegations by the Wexford TD relating to £7m found in the Isle of Man bank account of Belfast solicitor Ian Coulter have already sparked inquiries by the PSNI and the Northern Assembly's finance committee.

In a letter to the commissioner, Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said Mr Wallace had a duty under Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act to report any evidence of criminal wrongdoing to gardai.

"As matters stand, the allegation, if not investigated as a matter of urgency, casts a shadow over all Nama officers," wrote Mr McDonagh.

Within hours of receiving the letter, gardai announced the claim would be followed up by officers from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, led by Det Chief Supt Patrick Lordan.

Using parliamentary privilege, Mr Wallace also questioned the role of former Department of Finance secretary general John Moran in relation to another property transaction involving the Coroin group, which previously had a stake in Claridges, The Berkeley and The Connaught hotels in London.

"It would appear he was unnaturally interested in playing a significant role in the outcome of the Coroin group's portfolio," Mr Wallace said.

The TD also asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny whether he knew how many barristers, judges, solicitors, top-four accountancy firm partners and bankers were in syndicates linked to Nama.

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