Vatican Banking Fraud Probe Widens: Church 'Astonished' It Must Adhere to Money Laundering Laws
The Associated Press reported today that the Vatican expressed "astonishment" when an Italian court rejected the release of Vatican bank funds seized by authorities for failing to comply with international money laundering laws.
Prosecutors claim that the $30 million seizure that occurred last month is due to non-disclosure of the transfer destination of large sums of money. Although the Vatican bank -- Institute for Works of Religion -- vows that it is working within international banking rules, the prosecutor found "exactly the opposite" was true. The AP reported:
Under the investigation, financial police seized the money Sept. 21 from a Vatican bank account at the Rome branch of Credito Artigiano Spa, after the bank informed the Bank of Italy about possible violations of anti-money laundering norms. The bulk of the money, euro20 million ($26 million), was destined for JP Morgan in Frankfurt, with the remainder going to Banca del Fucino...