Vatican’s financial intelligence unit nets suspicious activity

The Vatican revealed that its enhanced procedures have enabled it to flag more suspicious transactions in 2012 than it did in 2011.
“I’m not saying that everything is great and perfect, but that a lot of progress has been made in the last two years,” said Rene Brülhart, director of the Financial Information Authority, at the Vatican’s press office.
“It’s important that we’re setting a system here to protect the Holy See,” he added.
The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority made the statistics public at a May 22 press conference, where it made its first-ever annual report available.
The report shows that in 2012 there were six reports of suspicious activity, versus one in 2011.
Brülhart said this proves that his department and its system, which became operational in April 2011, are working well.
The director explained that the six suspicious transactions involved sums of money greater than 10,000 Euros ($13,000) but would not provide additional details.
He also revealed that the Financial Authority asked the Promoter of Justice’s office within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to study two of the cases and said that they could be related to money laundering.
He stressed that international cooperation to help combat money laundering was “absolutely key and crucial” and that the Vatican is “a key player in global fight of money laundering.”
The Financial Information Authority was set up to help combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and hired Brülhart as its director just a few months ago.
According to the Swiss native, combating money laundering in the Vatican began back in 2010 after Pope Benedict XVI released a “motu proprio” that laid out the procedures.
“There’s no financial sector in the Vatican, no stock exchange, so it’s a completely different environment,” Brülhart said.
He noted that his office has two functions: to work as an intelligence unit and to supervise the so-called Vatican bank, which is officially called the Institute for Works of Religion.
The Vatican bank also recently received a new president, Ernst von Freyberg, who announced May 13 that it will make its annual report public and launch a website to better inform the public about its mission.


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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