Vatican Embroiled in Money Laundering Scandals

June 15, 2012 Taxation in Vatican

Vatican Embroiled in Money Laundering ScandalsVATICAN – The Vatican has once again been linked to organized crime and money laundering, in the second bank scandal to hit the city state in less than two months.

Over the course of the week the Italian media have released fresh reports linking the Vatican with allegations of facilitating money laundering for members of organized crime rings.

According to the Italian media, six weeks ago the Italian prosecutor made an official request to the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), otherwise known as the Vatican bank, for more information regarding the bank accounts held by a priest who is suspected of using his connections to the institute to help launder money for Matteo Messina Denaro, a high ranking member of the organized crime syndicate in Sicily.

Throughout the week the IOR has acknowledged that it has received the prosecutor’s request for more information, but has not provided any bank details, claiming that the bank has no connections to organized crimes and does not hold bank accounts of anyone not directly involved in the Vatican.

The latest scandal follows shortly on the heels of news last month that the IOR dismissed its president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi from his position, following claims that he was not able to adequately fulfil the duties of his role. However, the ex-president now claims that he was ousted after he found evidence of the bank and its employees facilitating money laundering for organized crime groups, Italian politicians and government officials. While talking to the press immediately following his dismissal Ettore Gotti Tedeschi said that “…I have paid the price for transparency” and that he now fears for his life, suggesting that he could face retributions from the mafia.

Photo by European Parliament