Vatican City cracks down on suspicious transactions

The Vatican City State has adopted a new law cracking down on financial transactions that could enable money-laundering and imposing a new level of transparency and supervision.

The Holy See Press Office said the new norm, Law XVIII, “strengthens the current internal system for the prevention and countering of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, in conformity with international guidelines”.

It marks the latest development in efforts by both Pope Francis and, up until his retirement, Benedict XVI, to reform the financial system of Vatican City and the Holy See.

Law XVIII implements Pope Francis’s motu proprio of August 8, which called for a broadening of existing Vatican laws on financial supervision.

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states, said that “special attention” will now be dedicated to giving information on “suspicious activities”, which will be carried out under the auspices of the Financial Information Authority.

If a “valid reason” to suspect activities of money laundering or financing of terrorism should occur, the FIA will send a “detailed report” to the Vatican’s promoter of justice, and transactions and operations under suspicion may be suspended “for up to five working days”, the archbishop explained.

He added that the FIA has powers of “general supervision” to ensure prescribed measures are taken by “obligated subjects” against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

He also said that “administrative sanctions” can be applied by the FIA, or, in the most serious cases, by the president of Vatican City, upon suggestion by the FIA.

The Vatican diplomat further stated that individuals who threaten peace and international security will be automatically denied the ability to trade or make financial transactions with the Vatican.

He said the FIA may immediately place “a preventative block” on their goods and resources and financial transactions.

The new law also regulates the “cross-border transportation” of cash amounting to more than 10,000 euros, in co-operation with other states and “on the basis of agreement protocols”, Archbishop Mamberti said.


National Catholic Register

Vatican Information Service

Vatican Information Service

Image: The Hindu

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