News

Two arrested ‘trying to bring £2.5tn in fake bonds to Vatican bank’

01 April 2014 | by Abigail Frymann Rouch

Italian police have arrested two men who were allegedly trying to deposit trillions of euros in fake bonds in the Vatican bank.

Police said a middle-aged American and a Dutch citizen approached the main gate of the Vatican on 11 March, telling the Vatican’s Swiss Guards they had an appointment with bank officials. The Swiss Guards were suspicious, detained the men and called the Italian Financial Police.

"When we arrived, the Vatican police had opened the men's briefcase to find bond certificates valued in US and Hong Kong dollars, as well as euro, worth €3 trillion [£2.5m]," said Lt Col Davide Cardia.

Investigators said they believed the suspects were hoping to open a line of credit at the bank.

The bank, officially called the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), runs thousands of private accounts held by cardinals, bishops and religious orders all over the world.

"We noticed the grammar of the English used on the certificates was full of mistakes – it looked like they had been written using Google Translate," Lt Col Cardia told the Daily Telegraph. He added: "Searching their hotel room we found the seals used to forge the bond certificates."

Lt Col Cardia said the two suspects were later released pending further investigation.

The bank has been at the centre of a major clean-up effort by Pope Francis. In 2012 the European watchdog Moneyval found that it fell short of global norms on combating money laundering, the financing of terrorism and tax evasion.



Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue

Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

Both sides in Amoris Laetitia debate are right, says Cardinal Müller19 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Pro Francis theologians start petition in support of Pope following 'filial correction' 18 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

German bishops abandon controversial Missal translation09 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Both sides in Amoris Laetitia debate are right, says Cardinal Müller19 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Pro Francis theologians start petition in support of Pope following 'filial correction' 18 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

German bishops abandon controversial Missal translation09 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Changing minds and hearts: the basic moral test of a society and its laws is the treatment of human life at its most vulnerablePremium18 October 2017 by John Wilson

The book of the people: the laity were reading the scriptures before 1517Premium18 October 2017 by Thomas Kaufmann

When realities collide: A pro-life activist suggests a change of direction for those campaigning for the abolition of the Abortion ActPremium18 October 2017 by Rebecca Bratten Weiss

Changing minds and hearts: the basic moral test of a society and its laws is the treatment of human life at its most vulnerablePremium18 October 2017 by John Wilson

The book of the people: the laity were reading the scriptures before 1517Premium18 October 2017 by Thomas Kaufmann

When realities collide: A pro-life activist suggests a change of direction for those campaigning for the abolition of the Abortion ActPremium18 October 2017 by Rebecca Bratten Weiss

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top