Vatican prelate arrested as part of IOR inquiry

Vatican Insider

Nunzio Serrano, who served in the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, has been arrested after he apparently helped friends bring 20 million Euros into Italy. Vatican spokesman Lombardi says the Vatican is prepared to cooperate with the judiciary


Less than forty eight hours after it was announced that Francis had ordered the setting up of a commission to inquire into the activities of the IOR, the Vatican bank has come under the media spotlight again, following the arrest of Italian monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who had been working for APSA (the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See). Two others were arrested as well: Italian policeman Giovanni Maria Zito, who was dismissed from the Italian secret services three months ago and broker Giovanni Carenzio. They are accused of corruption, slander and fraud. The arrest was made as part of the inquiry that is being carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome, into the activities of the IOR. Public Prosecutors Nello Rossi and Stefano Fava have been leading the three year investigation into the violation of anti-money laundering regulations by the IOR’s director general Paolo Cipriani and deputy director Massimo Tulli.

Mgr. Scarano, a former banker who became a priest 27 years ago, apparently agreed to pay 400 thousand Euros to have 20 million Euros in cash brought into Italy on a private jet. According to Scarano’s lawyer, the money was in fact transported on a State-authorised flight and the prelate only acted as a go-between. The money belonged to one of his friend’s families. But the monsignor was also placed under investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of his home city, Salerno, last 13 June, on charges of money-laundering. The investigation is being led by Public Prosecutor Elena Guarino and looking into the illegal transaction of money via cheques worth 10 thousand Euros each. Although accounting records show these as donations to help settle debts accumulated by a property in Salerno, it is suspected the transactions were part of a money laundering operation. In 2009, Mgr. Scarano withdrew 560 thousand Euros in cash from his IOR bank account, claiming it went towards paying off a mortgage.

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