Vatican freezes €2m over suspected money laundering

21 February 2017 | by Catholic News Service , Rose Gamble

Vatican has been fighting 'corruption, financial criminality and the borderline practices of high finance' says chief magistrate

Financial authorities in Vatican City have frozen more than €2m (£1.7m) worth of assets over suspicions of money laundering that took place in 2016.

Gian Pietro Milano, the state's Promoter of Justice, said it brings the total amount frozen between 2013 and 2016 to €13m (£11.1m).

The latest asset freeze followed alerts from the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF), said Milano in a summary of the city-state’s judicial activity delivered on 18 February.

Between 2012 and 2016, the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority reported 23 cases of suspicious transactions to the court; 17 of those cases still are under investigation, Milano continued.  

Since Pope Benedict XVI began introducing legal reforms in 2010 and with the establishment of the financial authority and new laws aimed at preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Vatican has been showing its commitment to supporting international initiatives "to fight phenomena like corruption, financial criminality and the borderline practices of high finance," Milano concluded.

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