Vatican Watchdog Says Suspicious Transactions Almost Quadrupled
By Francis X. Rocca
Wall Street Journal
April 28, 2016
The Vatican’s financial watchdog registered 544 suspicious transactions in 2015—almost four times as many as the previous year—but officials said Thursday it reflected greater vigilance rather than any rise in illicit financial activities.
The Financial Information Authority, or AIF, said it turned over 17 of those cases, mostly involving potential money laundering, to Vatican prosecutors.
“I would like to see the figure zero,” Rene Brulhart, the AIF’s president told reporters. “But it doesn’t reflect reality. Wherever you have financial transactions, financial activity, you always see something potentially suspicious.”
Mr. Brulhart said the Vatican’s oversight system uses a “rather low reporting threshold,” in part to raise awareness of potential problems. He said it was a “fair assessment” that none of the suspicious activity was related to the financing of terrorism.