Vatican Bank Board Told of 'Clear Failings' in Corruption Probe

Thursday, 04 Jul 2013 02:11 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
VATICAN CITY — A preliminary inquiry by the Vatican bank after the arrest of a Vatican prelate on suspicion of trying to smuggle huge sums of money into Italy from Switzerland found "clear failings" at the institution, a source close to the bank said on Thursday.

The board of the bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), held a meeting on Thursday that also addressed the shock resignation of its two top managers on Monday. The meeting had not been made public.

At the meeting Ernst von Freyberg, the bank's German president, told the other four board members of the preliminary results of an internal investigation.

It discovered "clear failings that should serve as stark reminder of the urgency of improving the IOR's processes," Freyberg told the board, the senior source told Reuters.

The Vatican was rocked last Friday by the arrest of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who is accused of plotting with two other people to smuggle 20 million euros, about $25.8 million, into Italy from Switzerland for rich friends in southern Italy.

Scarano, 61, who worked as a senior accountant in the Vatican's financial administration and had close and regular contacts with the Vatican bank, was arrested along with an Italian secret service agent and a financial intermediary.

Scarano is accused of money laundering in a separate investigation in the southern city of Salerno, his hometown.

According to the source, Freyberg told the board that the bank would continue to improve internal procedures and review every account. "We will systematically identify and eradicate wrongdoing by clients of our institute," Freyberg said.

Apart from Freyberg, the board is made up of another German, an Italian, an American and a Spaniard. All are non-clerics and are either businessmen or bankers.

Three days after the arrest of Scarano, IOR director Paolo Cipriani and deputy-director Massimo Tulli resigned. Both are under investigation by Rome magistrates, the third inquiry in Rome regarding suspected money laundering at the IOR.

Freyberg, who became president of the bank this year, has also assumed the role of bank director until a permanent replacement is appointed.

The bank has also established a new position of chief risk officer who will be charged with improving compliance with financial regulations at a bank which has long been a byword for secrecy and lack of transparency.

Last week, two days before the arrests, Pope Francis set up a commission of inquiry into the Vatican bank, which has been hit by a number of scandals in past decades.

The European anti-money laundering committee, Moneyval, said in a July report that the IOR still had to enact more reforms in order to meet international standards against money laundering.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

French Riot Police Clash with Migrants Seeking UK Entry

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 10:57 AM

French riot police in Calais used teargas on Wednesday to ward off hundreds of immigrants seeking to jump on to trucks b . . .

Erdogan Criticizes US Airdrops to Kobane as 'Wrong'

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 10:37 AM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday criticised as wrong the airdrops of ammunition and weapons by US p . . .

Italy World Cup Hero Cannavaro Probed over Tax Fraud

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 08:17 AM

Italy's World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro is being investigated on suspicion of running a sham company to avoid  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved