It can be revealed, on this blog for the first time, that Ian Coulter has been interviewed for more than 60 hours by the NCA and has agreed to co-operate with their Nama probe.
The National Crime Agency are expected to execute at least four more arrests in the coming weeks, in relation to the scandal.
The secretive agency, labelled Britain’s FBI, have taken the lead in investigating the scandal and it is understood their investigation is probing not only the sale of the Northern Ireland loan portfolio but fraud by a cabal of property developers, accountants, politicians and retired police officers in relation to the handling of the Nama loans following the sale to Cerberus.
One of the first people named in relation to the scandal was Tughans solicitor, Ian Coulter. It can now be revealed that Ian Coulter has co-operated with the National Crime Agency and given over 60 hours of interviews.
It is believed that Coulter has given detailed information in relation to the sale of the Nama Northern Ireland loan portfolio and implicated many others.
It is understood that the National Crime Agency are set to arrest four more individuals in the coming weeks.
The four are former DUP Cllr Gareth Robinson (son of the former First Minister), accountant David Watters, Brendan McGinn of Fortress and retired RUC officer and British Intelligence asset Alan Mains.
The first two arrests in relation to the Nama investigation came last week. Frank Cushnahan and Ronnie Hanna were first named on this blog on the day of their arrests. Cushnahan was subsequently named 24 hours later by the Irish News, who then also named Ronnie Hanna the following day.
Following the arrests the BBC Spotlight team revealed that a second program in relation to the Nama scandal had been almost ready to air. Given the two suspects were released on bail, legal constraints will now prevent Spotlight from airing the program at this time.
It is understood that there was a plethora of murky moves undertaken in order to stymie the program.
Frank Cushnahan, Peter Robinson, Brendan McGinn, Paddy Kearney, Alan Mains and Kevin Lagan all enlisted the services of Lawyer Paul Tweed- a business partner of Brendan McGinn- firstly in an attempt to stop my evidence at the Northern Ireland Assembly Finance committee, and then to stop the circulation of my Nama book- ‘The Three Headed Dog’.
Sources close to the ‘dirty half dozen’ claim they were advised not to seek a formal injunction against my book as to do so would open up the Smithwick tribunal allegations- contained in the Alan Mains chapter- to further public scrutiny.
The ongoing NCA investigation is running parallel to the continuation of the Northern Ireland Assembly Finance Committee inquiry. The new chair of the inquiry is Peter Robinson’s former Special Advisor Emma Pengelly. Mrs Pengelly’s husband, Richard Pengelly, was one of the chosen individuals put forward by the DUP for a seat on the Nama Northern Ireland Advisory Committee.
Despite this extraordinary conflict of interest, the South Belfast MLA, who was recently demoted from her Junior Minister post by DUP Leader Arlene Foster, continues to chair the inquiry.
With Ian Coulter co-operating with the NCA probe it looks likely that the collaborators will continue to turn on each other.