Vatican Cracks Down on Illicit Activity

April 29, 2016 Taxation in Vatican

VaticanVATICAN – In an effort to clean up the image of the controversy-ridden Vatican bank, the city’s financial watchdog has halted millions in transfers and closed thousands of accounts over the course of 2015.

In its annual report released on April 28th, the Financial Information Authority of the Vatican revealed that over the course of 2015 it had received 54 reports of suspicious financial activities in accounts held with the Institutes of Religious Works, the bank of the Vatican.

The number of reports submitted in 2015 marks a four-fold increase compared to the previous year, when only 147 reports were filed.

However, despite the significant increase in the number of filed reports, only 17 cases were handed over to prosecutors for further investigation and action.

The reports of suspicious activity halted transfers worth approximately USD 2.4 million and EUR 15.3 million.

According to the Financial Information Authority, the increase in the number of reports was not due to an increase in financial crime due to continued monitoring of accounts and a rise in the standards of monitoring applied to accounts held with the Institutes of Religious Works.

It was also noted that as part of the ongoing reviews conducted by the Institutes of Religious Works, approximately 4 800 accounts have been closed, leaving approximately 15 000 accounts still active.

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