By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press | June 28, 2013
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The plot involved an armed police escort, a wealthy shipping family and a plan to secretly transport $26 million (20 million euros) from a Swiss bank account into Italy aboard a private jet. At the heart of the story of greed: a silver-haired Vatican monsignor.
The latest corruption scandal to hit the Holy See unraveled in public on Friday as Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a Vatican accountant, was arrested in the customs-dodging Swiss bank case. He is also under investigation in a separate case of alleged money-laundering involving his Vatican bank account.
The developments came two days after Pope Francis created a commission of inquiry into the Vatican bank to get to the bottom of the problems that have plagued it for decades and contributed to its reputation as an unregulated, offshore tax haven.
Francis has made it clear that he has no tolerance for corruption or for Vatican officials who use their jobs for personal ambition or gain. He has said he wants a “poor” church that ministers to those most in need. He has also noted, tongue in cheek, that “St. Peter didn’t have a bank account.”
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