First report by Vatican financial watchdog reveals suspicious transactions




AIF director, René Brülhart, has presented the figures relating to the body’s anti-money laundering efforts

ANDREA TORNIELLI Taken from Vatican Insider


During the course of 2012, particularly in the last few months of that year, the AIF (Financial Information authority), the Vatican’s financial watchdog set up by Benedict XVI and led by President Attilio Nicora, has flagged 6 suspicious activities in the Vatican or in the Holy See’s bodies, against last year’s one suspicious activity. The Vatican Bank, (IOR) was found to be implicated in some suspicious transactions.

Two information requests were sent to domestic authorities and two reports to the Promoter of Justice, that is, the Vatican City State’s judicial authority. Last year, an information request was sent to foreign authorities and three were received by foreign authorities.

598 declared cross-border cash transactions of over ten thousand Euros were made throughout the course of 2012: 598 transfers were made to the Vatican and 1782 were made form the Vatican. This means 2.380 people entered or left the Vatican, declaring they had over ten thousand Euros in cash or bonds with them.

This is according to the first Financial Information Authority’s Annual Report for 2012, presented in the Vatican newsroom this morning by the director of the AIF, René Brülhart. He said: “The statistics and trends from 2012 are encouraging and indicates that the system is consistently improving.”

Brülhart said the AIF has initiated the systematic screening and analysis of Cash Transaction Reports submitted by the obliged entities. “In our efforts to tackle actively any potential abuse of the financial system, we initiated a close and constructive interaction with the Secretariat of State, the Gendarmerie, the Promoter of Justice and the institutions under our oversight in order to improve awareness and safety and ensure a coordinated internal cooperation in AML/CFT matters” to prevent and counter money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Brülhart has assured his collaboration with the Italian authorities: “The IOR is not a commercial bank – he pointed out – and the Vatican is not a tax haven. The Holy See is a reliable partner in the international fight against money laundering.”

So transparency efforts continue and the Vatican’s eagerness to clear up some grey areas from the past and the scandals the Vatican Bank has been involved in. This is in view of a future reform of the Roman Curia which could involve a restructuring of the IOR, so as to make it more faithful to its original mission.



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About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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