People Before Profit has condemned the decision of Finance Minister Michael Noonan not to sack Michael Geoghegan from the advisory board of NAMA.
In a statement, Brid Smith for People Before Profit said,
‘It is incredible that the world’s top organiser of tax dodging schemes should be acting as an advisor to NAMA.
‘Michael Geoghegan was the chief executive to HSBC when it was involved in laundering money from Mexican drug cartels and facilitating the evasion of €100 billion from revenue authorities.
‘An estimated €4 billion of these funds came from wealthy Irish individuals who were content to see the mass of low and middle income Ireland pay for the burden of the economic crisis.
‘Until very recently, one of Geoghegan’s key associates, David Hodgkinson was the chairperson of the board of the state owned Allied Irish Bank.
‘Hodgkinson was the head of the Middle East operation of HSBC where large funds of Iranian money were laundered into the banks accounts.
‘Ireland therefore appointed two of the key global organisers of tax dodging to key positions in the financial sector.
‘Geoghegan issued a report for NAMA where he called on the agency to act in a more entrepreneurial manner – even, he noted’ if this was not immediately popular’
‘We can only take this recommendation as a signal that NAMA should not bother about paying attention to any social concerns such as housing the homeless or making property available for useful social purposes.
‘After this recommendation was accepted, NAMA began selling off more property to global vulture funds and, incredibly, Michael Noonan introduced a special tax concession for Real Estate Investment Trusts to facilitate these activities’
‘If Geoghegan is not asked to step down from any advisory role, a signal will be sent out that a blind eye is turned to tax dodging on a massive scale.