Vatican tightens control over financial flows

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Vatican tightens control over financial flows







© KEYSTONE / EPA / ALESSANDRO AT MEO


The Vatican announced on Saturday a strengthening of the financial flow control measures of its various entities through changes to a law dating from 2013. The controls will be more intense and better coordinated.

“The latest changes are part of a global strategy whose objective is to make the management of Vatican finances ever more transparent, within the framework of intense and coordinated controls”, declared in an interview published by the Vatican Carmelo Barbagallo, president of the Financial Information Authority (AIF).

The AIF, considered as the financial policeman of the small state, is in charge of controlling the financial flows of the Vatican within the framework of the fight against money laundering and terrorism. With these modifications “the defense and control mechanisms of the institutions (of the Vatican, editor’s note) which are in various ways concerned by financial flows, will be even stronger”, added Mr. Barbagallo.

“Each legal order has a fundamental duty to protect and defend the dignity of each person. In this context, managing with prudence and controlling effectively is not only a legal but also a moral duty. It is even more true when it is ‘it’s about financial flow controls,’ concluded Mr. Barbagallo.

A team of experts from Moneyval, the Council of Europe body evaluating anti-money laundering measures, began an inspection ten days ago in Vatican City, the fifth of its kind since 2012 .

Opaque funding

This inspection came as an investigation by the Vatican justice has been underway for a year into the opaque financing by the Holy See of the purchase of a luxury London building.

A fortnight ago, one of the Vatican’s most influential cardinals, Italian Angelo Becciu, was further ousted by the pope on suspicion of “embezzlement” in favor of his brothers. He also held a decision-making position for the investment of the London building.

The Pope reminded Moneyval experts, whom he received two days ago, that a text published on August 19 now requires Vatican City state employees to report any suspicious activity to the AIF .

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