Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

Vatican financial authority admitted to Egmont Group


Vatican City, July 3 - The Vatican said Wednesday
that its Financial Information Authority has been admitted to
the Egmont Group of financial intelligence units.
AIF Director Rene' Bruelhart said the move was "recognition
of the systematic efforts of the Holy See and of the Vatican
City State to identify and combat money laundering and financing
of terrorism".
The announcement comes after the Vatican was hit last week
by the arrest of a prelate, who until recently was the head of
analytic accounts at the Holy See's
asset-management agency APSA, for alleged involvement in a
failed bid to bring 20 million euros into Italy illegally.
Furthermore, the director and and deputy director of the
scandal-hit Vatican Bank, (the Institute for Religious Works,
IOR) resigned on Monday, amid reports they may be soon be put
under investigation in a criminal probe.
The Vatican has made a series of moves to show greater
transparency in the financial transactions that take place in
the city state since Argentinian Jesuit bishop Jorge Mario
Bergoglio became Pope Francis in March.
Francis is reportedly keen to remove stains from IOR's
reputation and get the Vatican onto the 'white list' of
countries with unimpeachable credentials by working with the
Council of Europe's Moneyval anti-money-laundering agency.
"Our inclusion in the global network will further enhance
our capacity to contribute to the fight against financial
crimes," Bruelhart said.
In a report last July, Moneyval said that the Holy See had
made progress on financial transparency, but added that more
reforms were needed.
Last week Francis set up a pontifical commission on IOR, to
brief the pontiff on the bank's activities and make sure it
operated in harmony with the "Church's mission".
In May the Vatican's financial watchdog published its
first annual report on the Holy See's efforts to combat money
laundering and funding terrorism.
In it, the Financial Information Authority (AIF) said it
had uncovered six cases of suspect transactions in 2012, a
notable increase since 2011 when only one such case was flagged.
Two of those cases were sent on to Vatican prosecutors for
a probe.
Bruelhart did not go into the specifics of the
transactions, specifying only that "they were not tied to
financing terrorism".
A Vatican report to Moneyval is due in September.
Other efforts to make IOR more transparent include a move
to publish its balance sheets online by the end of the year.

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