Third person arrested in connection with Nama inquiry

British crime agency investigating sale of Nama’s NI property portfolio for £1.2 billion

“On 24th August 2017 officers from the National Crime Agency arrested a 54-year-old man at Belfast International Airport in connection with its ongoing Nama investigation,” the agency said. File photograph: Getty Images

“On 24th August 2017 officers from the National Crime Agency arrested a 54-year-old man at Belfast International Airport in connection with its ongoing Nama investigation,” the agency said. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A third person has been arrested in connection with the British National Crime Agency’s investigation into the sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland portfolio to US investment giant Cerberus for £1.2 billion.

In May last year the NCA arrested two people in Co Down as part of its investigation into the sale of Nama loans to Cerberus in 2014.

The overall Nama investigation was sparked by claims made in the Dáil in July 2015 by independent TD Mick Wallace who alleged that as a result of the Nama purchase, £7 million was lodged in an Isle of Man account “reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician or party”.

Cross-jurisdictional powers

The NCA, described as Britain’s FBI because of its cross-jurisdictional powers, has now made a third arrest.

“On 24th August 2017 officers from the National Crime Agency arrested a 54-year-old man at Belfast International Airport in connection with its ongoing Nama investigation,” it said in a statement.

“The man was later released on police bail. As the investigation is continuing we are unable to comment further,” it added.

Last October the NCA said six people were being investigated as “criminal suspects” as part of its inquiry into Project Eagle, the purchase of Nama’s Northern Ireland property portfolio.

NCA director-general Lynne Owens told Northern Ireland Policing Board members that seven people were interviewed by the agency under “criminal caution”, while six remained under investigation as “criminal suspects”.