Fixer's fee for Frank Cushnahan over NAMA portfolio

Fixer’s fee for Frank Cushnahan over NAMA portfolio

DETECTIVES from the National Crime Agency and the PSNI’s Organised Crime Branch have arrested men two as part of a fraud investigation linked to Northern Ireland’s biggest property sale.

The arrests were made earlier today in Co Down.

The men are currently being questioned at Musgrave PSNI station.

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) in the Republic sold its Northern Ireland portfolio to investment fund Cerberus for £1.2 billion in 2014.

The NCA is the lead agency in the investigation into allegations of fraud connected to the sale.

It began its investigation after Mick Wallace, an independent politician in the Republic of Ireland, told the Irish parliament that a Northern Ireland politician was in line to benefit from the Nama deal.

It was claimed a fixer’s fee of £7 million pound was paid to Belfast solicitor Ian Coulter of Tughan’s solictors.

He lodged the money in an Isle of Man account without the knowledge or authority of his employers.

When it came to light, Coulter, who was a partner in the firm, later left.

He now works for the Lagan Group.

Earlier this year, BBC NI Spotlight revealed the involvement in the Nama deal of former banker and Nama NI Frank Cushnahan.

Reporter Mandy Macauley revealed that Cushnahan was to receive a ‘fixer’s fee’ for helping to secure the Nama deal.

During an undercover recording of a meeting, Frank Cushnahan discussed work he did with solicitor Ian Coulter of Tughans & Co.

Cushnahan said: “You know when I was working on that Cerberus thing to get that thing out, he worked with me to get that. And basically all the work was done by me and him.”

He went on to say his role was deliberately hidden because of Nama’s objections.

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