Tag Archives: money laundering

Vatican freezes funds at Vatican Bank attributed to suspended Vatican Monsignor

Vatican City, 12 July 2013 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., gave the following update this morning regarding the ongoing investigations into the case of Msgr. Nunzio Scarano by the competent authorities. Msgr. Scarano was the director of the accounting analysis service of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) and was arrested at the end of June by Italian authorities in the context of a corruption and fraud investigation.

“By court order on the 9th of July, the Vatican Promoter of Justice has frozen funds at the IOR (Vatican Bank) attributed to suspended Vatican employee Nunzio Scarano as part of an ongoing investigation by the Vatican judicial authorities. The investigation was triggered by several suspicious transaction reports filed with AIF and could be extended to additional individuals.

“IOR commissioned an objective review by Promontory Financial Group of the facts and circumstances of the accounts in question and is fully cooperating with the Vatican Financial Intelligence Unit AIF and judicial authorities to bring full transparency in this matter.

“The IOR is currently undergoing an outside review by Promontory Financial Group of all client relationships and the anti-money-laundering procedures it has in place. In parallel, the Institute is implementing appropriate improvements to its structures and procedures. This process was initiated in May 2013 and is expected to be largely concluded by the end of 2013. Over the past weeks, the IOR nominated a Chief Risk Officer at Directorate level with a specific brief to focus on compliance, and introduced measures to substantially strengthen the reporting system.

“As President Ernst von Freyberg recently pointed out, the IOR is systematically identifying and will have zero tolerance for any activity, whether conducted by laity or clergy, that is illegal or outside the Statutes of the Institute.”

Vatican Information Service

Accused Vatican Monsignor lives in luxurious apartment

The Vatican official who was arrested last week on charges of financial misconduct lives a luxurious apartment lined with expensive artwork, police have disclosed.

Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, who is charged with attempting to bring $26 million in cash into Italy illegally, lives in an apartment in an affluent section of Salerno. Police there report that when they were summoned there in January, they were shocked by the luxury of the residence.

“We asked ourselves how did this monsignor come to own this place and possess these expensive works of art,” an investigator told Reuters. Msgr. Scarano had called police to report the theft of several works of art, valued at millions of dollars. He said that his possessions all came from donations.

Msgr. Scarano, a native of Salerno, had been director of accounting for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) until he was suspended because of separate money-laundering charges.

In a related development, two men who are being investigated in connection with the plot to bring $26 million into Italy have denied that the money belongs to them. Paolo and Cesare D’Amico, who operate a shipping business in Salerno, denied police charges that the cash was ultimately intended for them. Msgr. Scarano has reportedly said that he planned the transfer of funds to help friends.