‘Significant progress’ made by NI’s prosecution service into Project Eagle sale

UK National Crime Agency investigating sale of Nama’s property portfolio in North

The PSNI first asked the UK’s National Crime Agency in 2015 to investigate the sale of the Project Eagle portfolio to Cerberus

The PSNI first asked the UK’s National Crime Agency in 2015 to investigate the sale of the Project Eagle portfolio to Cerberus

 

A team of senior prosecutors at the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in the North has “made significant progress” on reviewing evidence submitted by the UK’s National Crime Agency following its investigation into the sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland property portfolio.

A PPS spokeswoman confirmed that the file of evidence in relation to fraud allegations against eight suspects “remains under active consideration”.

“Decisions will issue in due course after a thorough consideration of all evidence,” the PPS stated.

According to the National Crime Agency, it now rests with the PPS to decide whether charges should be brought against any or all of the eight suspects who have not been publicly identified by either the agency or by prosecutors for legal reasons.

It is understood that the crime agency had gathered “substantial material” during the course of its long-running investigation into the Project Eagle portfolio sale. The agency had previously made a number of arrests in the North in connection with the investigation into the sale of the former Nama loan portfolio.

The PSNI first asked the agency in 2015 to investigate the sale of the Project Eagle portfolio to Cerberus, a US investment fund, which describes “itself as one of the world’s largest and most experienced investors in non-performing loans (NPLs) and NPL portfolios”.

Cerberus paid £1.1 billion in 2014 for the portfolio which previously had been estimated to have been worth in the region of £4.6 billion.

When the National Crime Agency initially launched its investigation into the Project Eagle sale, it outlined that the “high priority operation” would cover the “NI loan book purchase and dispersal of fees offshore” and the “nature, extent and probity of the relationships and roles of persons involved in the process, including allegations of corruption”.

New York headquartered Cerberus has consistently denied any wrong-doing in relation to the transaction.