Vatican Financial Watchdog Registers 147 Suspicious Transactions in 2014

By Francis X. Rocca
Wall Street Journal
May 29, 2015

VATICAN CITY—The Vatican’s financial watchdog registered 147 suspicious transactions in 2014, down by more than a quarter from the previous year, reflecting progress by the Holy See in detecting and preventing financial crime, officials said Friday.

The Financial Information Authority, or AIF, said it turned over seven of those cases, mostly involving potential fraud or tax evasion, to Vatican prosecutors. In three of the seven cases, the AIF froze suspicious transactions with a total value of ˆ562 million.

Friday’s annual report was the third published by the regulator, which Pope Benedict XVI established in 2010 to work toward compliance with international standards on financial crimes. That move was the start of a series of financial reforms at the Vatican, which have been continued by Pope Francis.

In 2013, the European money-laundering watchdog Moneyval praised the Vatican for its efforts on financial transparency but said regulatory oversight needed tightening at the scandal-plagued Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion, or IOR. That same year, Pope Francis named a special panel to reform the bank.








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