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Vatican finance watchdog reports ongoing progress in oversight

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service


VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican’s financial watchdog agency has reported continued progress in oversight, reporting and co-operation in its efforts to prevent suspected money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In its annual report for 2017, the Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF) confirmed a “robust reporting system and an effective application of the regulatory framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.”

The agency, which oversees transactions made through the Vatican bank, also continued a “pro-active approach to co-operate and exchange information with its foreign counterparts to fight illicit financial activities,” it said in its report, released to the public April 27.

However, as the agency continues to hand over reports of suspicious activity to the required authorities, very few cases have led to indictments and prosecutions by the office of the promoter of justice at the Vatican City State’s tribunal.

Of reports it has sent to the Vatican tribunal over the years, there was one “successful prosecution of serious criminal offences” in 2017, it said, referring to the trial of Giuseppe Profiti, the former president of the Vatican-owned pediatric hospital.

Originally charged with embezzlement, Profiti was found guilty of abuse of office for using donations belonging to the hospital’s foundation to refurbish a Vatican-owned apartment used by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, former Vatican secretary of state. Profiti was sentenced to one year in jail and fined 5,000 euros (U.S. $5,900) on the reduced charge, but the sentence was suspended.

The ongoing co-operation and exchange of financial intelligence with foreign countries, the report said, also led to the arrest of an unnamed subject in his or her home country, where he or she had already been indicted for non-financial crimes.

Copyright (c) 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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