Vatican Financial Information Authority reports improvement

The Vatican Financial Information Authority says suspicious financial activity in the Vatican has decreased for the second year in a row.

The Authority says efforts to help the Vatican comply with international norms for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing are paying off.

A report which the Authority released last Friday says 150 suspicious financial transactions were flagged in 2017, 57 fewer than in the previous year.

Only eight of those were judged possibly to be the result of criminal activity.

Sixteen fewer reports were sent to the Promoter of Justice in the Vatican City’s tribunal for investigation in comparison to the 24 sent in 2016.

The report noted none of the suspicious transactions involved financing terrorism.

Furthermore, the report confirmed a “robust reporting system and an effective application of the regulatory framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.”

The Financial Information Authority was set up by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 as an anti-money laundering watchdog unit.

Its establishment followed decades of scandals involving the Vatican Bank.

Among the successful prosecutions of serious criminal offences the Vatican undertook in 2017 was that of Giuseppe Profiti.

Profiti was the former president of the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Hospital.

He was given a one-year suspended prison sentence for “abuse of power” for diverting €422,000 (£370,000/$500,000) of the hospital’s funds to upgrade former Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s Vatican apartment.

The Financial Intelligence Authority reported it is also continuing with a “pro-active approach to cooperate and exchange information with its foreign counterparts to fight illicit financial activities.”


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