herald

Saturday 22 September 2018

NAMA developers scamming public, admits Taoiseach

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has sounded a warning about a possible scam on taxpayers by NAMA developers.

Mr Kenny admitted some builders whose assets were transferred to the toxic loans agency are trying to buy them back at bargain prices.

The developers had to surrender the properties when they could no longer service the debts themselves.

And having saddled the taxpayer with the massive borrowings, they are now attempting to make a killing on the transaction.

"I have had some indications of attempts to acquire property that was taken from developers through a variety of methods," Mr Kenny said.



ASSETS

"I hope that NAMA are on top of that, and that where NAMA have acquired assets that they don't find their way back to where they were acquired from in the first place," he added.

Mr Kenny issued the warning after addressing delegates at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Cork.

The Taoiseach said he would discuss the issue with Finance Minister Michael Noonan after he returns from a visit to the US later in the week.

Mr Kenny said he was "concerned" about the alleged attempts by developers using different strategies to take back control of their assets.

He wants people to make offers to NAMA for seized properties so they can be put up for sale as soon as possible.

This would determine a bottom on the property market, he added.

His comments echo the remarks of Fianna Fail senator Mark Daly, who claimed hundreds of millions of euro are being lost to the Exchequer because of the practice.

Mr Daly said that the developers were re-buying their assets at a fraction of the original price.

"I have been informed by people involved in the industry that there is widespread corruption in this regard," he told the Seanad.

comurphy@herald.ie

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