April 27, 2018
By NICOLE WINFIELD
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican’s financial watchdog has taken on responsibility for evaluating suspicious donations to Vatican-based charities and foundations, an assignment that marks a new phase of Pope Francis’ financial reforms.
An annual report released by the Financial Information Authority on Friday showed a progressive consolidation of efforts to bring the Vatican into compliance with international norms for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.
For its dual job of supervising the Vatican bank and serving as the Holy See’s financial intelligence unit, the AIF, as the agency is known, collects and evaluates reports of suspicious transactions. In recent years, the bulk of those reports have come from the bank, the Institute for Religious Works, but also other Holy See offices.
In its annual report, the agency noted a law that took effect in November requiring all Vatican-registered charities and foundations to report suspicious transactions to AIF or face sanctions of up to 20,000 euros. That law was a response to a recommendation from the Council of Europe’s Moneyval process, which the Vatican joined in a bid to shed its image as a loosely regulated offshore tax haven.
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