Friday 28 July 2017

Thousands of phone call recordings to be turned over to Nama police inquiry

The Treasury Building on Grand Canal Street Lower where NAMA is based. Photo: Tom Burke
The Treasury Building on Grand Canal Street Lower where NAMA is based. Photo: Tom Burke
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Thousands of phone calls involving a former Nama advisor are to be handed over to police investigating the largest ever sale of property in Irish history.

A Belfast businessman said the hundreds of hours of tapes showing an "ingrained culture of inappropriate and possibly illegal conduct" across political, banking, legal and accountancy sectors.

All of the recordings involved former Nama advisor Frank Cushnahan, a parliamentary inquiry heard today.

Property developer and bookmaker Gareth Graham was giving evidence at the Stormont inquiry into the €1.6bn sale of Nama’s northern loan portfolio, codenamed Project eagle.

Mr Cushnahan acted as an advisor to Mr Graham’s businesses from 2005 to 2008 and had the use of one of its bookmaking offices.

The inquiry was told that all calls into and out of the business were recorded.

Mr Graham said he would be handing over the tapes to the National Crime Agency, the UK’s equivalent of the FBI, which is investigating the deal.

The developer also claimed Mr Cushnahan still owns 5pc of a property company that was in Nama.

Mr Cushnahan had claimed he sold his interest in the company prior to joining Nama’s Northern Ireland Advisory Board.

However, Mr Graham said this was retained by Mr Cushnahan and that he had not disclosed this to Nama, as he was obliged to do under the Nama Act.

The inquiry is to write to Mr Cushnahan inviting him to respond.

Mr Cushnahan has previously denied any wrongdoing in relation to the deal.

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