Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Credit card freeze costs Vatican 30,000 euros per day

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, January 15 - A freeze on credit-card
and ATM transactions inside Vatican City since the start of the
year has cost the Church 300,000 euros so far, estimates
reported Tuesday said.
An investigation by Rome prosecutors into an alleged
money-laundering case led to the freeze on January 1, making
international headlines and worrying tourists, who have had to
pay in cash at the Vatican's museums and shops.
The Bank of Italy suspended bank-card payments in the
Vatican City state over its failure to fully implement
international anti-money laundering standards.
In late December, the central bank denied Deutsche Bank
Italy, the Vatican's former provider of electronic payment
services, a permit because of the Vatican's shortcomings in
financial controls and oversight.
The apparent tipping point that triggered the action was a
Rome prosecutor's investigation of possible money-laundering in
2010 at the Vatican's bank, also known as the Institute for
Religious Works (IOR).
The Holy See has been trying without success to join the
'white list' of states that meet international standards on
combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Last July, the Council of Europe's Moneyval department said
in a report that the Holy See had made progress on financial
transparency, but added that more reforms were needed.
Soon after, the Holy See appointed a Swiss expert, Rene'
Bruelhart, to work on Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of
Terrorism (AML/CFT) activities and strengthen the Holy See's
framework to fight financial crimes.
In the past there have been allegations that the IOR was
used to launder money, most notably by 'God's Banker' Roberto
Calvi, whose body was found hanging under Blackfriar's Bridge in
London in 1982, a suspected victim of the Mafia.
IOR was also named in kickbacks probes stemming from the
1990 collapse of public-private chemicals colossus Enimont, part
of the Clean Hands investigations that swept away Italy's old
political establishment.
More recently, there has been a series of Italian TV
reports and a best-selling book claiming to show how individuals
have used IOR to squirrel away money, dodging Italian
regulations.
Losses since the freeze went into effect so far amount to
nearly 30,000 euros every day.

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