Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pope to bar money laundering in Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI will publish a decree on Thursday to fight money laundering in the Vatican, the Holy See said in a press release.

The Wednesday announcement comes three months after an investigation was launched into two senior figures at the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).

Benedict's 'Moto Proprio' document "regarding the prevention and opposition to illegal financial activity," will set up a new financial authority in the Vatican, the statement said.

It will also lay down a law on "the prevention and the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism," it said.

According to the agency, which specialises in religious information, the arrangements should eventually allow the Vatican onto the "White list," the list of states that have strict anti-money laundering controls.

In September, Italy's financial police seized 23 million euros from IOR as part of an investigation into the bank on suspicion of violating the country's money-laundering rules.