New statistics on money laundering and thefts

New statistics on money laundering and thefts

Vatican: number of thefts increased © CBA

On suspicion of money laundering, Vatican judiciary seized more than two million euros in 2016. That's according to a report by the Vatican prosecutor's office. In addition, he said, the number of thefts has increased.

According to Vatican prosecutor Gian Piero Milano, the authority is investigating 17 cases for a possible violation of anti-money laundering regulations. Since 2013, a total of more than twelve million euros have been frozen. The prosecutor also said that a special investigation unit had been created in the Vatican for such cases.

The Vatican had brought its precautions against money laundering into line with international standards in recent years. In 2015, independent experts from the Council of Europe's Moneyval committee acknowledged it had made considerable progress in this area, but among other things continued to complain about shortcomings in law enforcement.

Supervisory authority controls since 2010

Benedict XVI. Had established the Vatican's financial watchdog, the Autorita di informazione finanziaria (AIF), at the end of 2010 to forward suspicious money flows to the Vatican judiciary. The head of the AIF is the Swiss Rene Brulhart, who previously headed Liechtenstein's anti-money laundering authority.

More thefts

Another statistic from the latest report: there is more theft in the Vatican. In the world's smallest country, the 1. October 2015 to 30. A total of 78 thefts reported in September 2016. In the twelve months before that, it was 58, according to Milano's report.

According to the report, most of the money stolen was from pilgrims and tourists at the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica, which attract more than five million visitors a year. The Vatican gendarmerie arrested a total of four suspected pickpockets.

The Vatican City State, which has a population of about 450, has its own secular judiciary and its own police force, the Vatican Gendarmerie. Vatican crime statistics show a total of 33 arrests in the last judicial year, 17 of which were handed over to the Italian police by the gendarmerie.

Attempted fraud in 28 cases

In addition, 28 cases of attempted fraud were reported to the judiciary of the papal state. Unauthorized leaks of confidential Vatican documents also apparently continue. The Vatican's financial supervisory authority AIF brought two cases to court.

In July, the Vatican court had sentenced a Spanish cleric who had given internal Vatican documents to two journalists to 18 months in prison. An Italian PR consultant was sentenced to a ten-month suspended sentence in this so-called Vatileaks-2 trial.

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