Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Reports of suspicious financial activity up at Vatican

English
© ANSA

Rome, August 9 - The success of the Vatican's
commitment to greater financial surveillance is demonstrated by
the rise in suspicious activities detected, the head of
financial intelligence there said Friday.
In an interview published in the daily La Repubblica, Rene
Bruelhart said the Vatican's latest measures toward greater
financial enforcement are already proving themselves.
The rising number of suspicious transaction reports this
year - with more reported to date in 2013 than in the previous
year - proves the system is effective, said Bruelhart, director
of the Vatican's watchdog Financial Information Authority (AIF).
''The suspicious transaction reports detected in 2013 are
significantly more than the six recorded in 2012,'' Bruelhart is
quoted as saying.
''That fact...signals that the system of controls is
working''.
In May, the AIF said it had uncovered six cases of suspect
transactions in 2012, a notable increase since 2011 when only
one such case was flagged.
His comments came one day after Pope Francis issued a papal
decree aimed at strengthening and broadening the scope of
financial surveillance in order to combat money laundering and
corruption.
The papal law, known as a ''motu proprio,'' gives the AIF
the new task of prudential supervision over all areas of the
Curia, the Church's administration, as well as its other
institutions.
The decree was a further step towards making it compliant
with international standards, Vatican spokesman Father Federico
Lombardi said following Thursday's announcement.
The new regulations at the Holy See will not only combat
money laundering, but also the financing of terrorism and the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
It establishes a new body, the Financial Security
Committee, for the purpose of ''coordinating the competent
authorities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State in the
area of prevention and countering of money laundering, the
financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction''.
In another step in the Vatican's efforts to become more
financially transparent and internationally compliant, it
recently signed a formal agreement with the Bank of Italy on
banking and financial information to fight money laundering.
The agreement, signed July 26, was based on a model
prepared by the Egmont Group, the global network of financial
intelligence units.
The agreement contains clauses on reciprocity,
confidentiality and the permitted uses of financial information.
The Holy See's reputation on financial transparency had
been hit hard by number of scandals, including several at the
Vatican Bank, officially called the Institute of Religious Works
(IOR).
Francis is keen to remove stains from the bank'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.

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