Thursday, February 23, 2017

Vatican freezes 2 million euro over laundering fears

Vatican BankVatican City authorities have frozen more than €2 million ($3 million) worth of assets over suspicions of money laundering that took place in 2016.

The action is the latest move in Pope Francis's drive to clean up the finances of the Holy See, its chief magistrate said.

Gian Pietro Milano, the tiny state's Promoter of Justice, said it brings the total amount frozen between 2013 and 2016 to €13m (£11.1m).

The latest asset freeze followed alerts from the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority, which has been given more power by the Pope.

No further details of what lay behind the actions were released, but Mr Milano said that two cases led to indictments and three were shelved.

Mr Milano said the Vatican had "closed the gap" on meeting international standards regarding monitoring, reporting, investigating and prosecuting financial irregularities.

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