Vatican Insider speaks to the Holy See’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lena, who says other countries have a higher money laundering risk rating than the Vatican.
Moneyval assessors claim the Vatican still has a lot of work to do.
“Your statement confirms part of the problem: saying that the Vatican still has a lot of work to do, without comparing its report to those of other countries gives the impression that the Vatican is an exception.
If we look at all the reports, one thing is obvious: the results of every single report for each country show that they still have a lot of work to do, because standards are often far more up to date and ahead in terms of the domestic laws of participating countries.
One thing that does not appear in all reports but is present in the Holy See one, is that assessors noticed and appreciated the openness and ability of the IOR and the entire Vatican to work hard and effectively and to adapt and make progress in real time, even during the assessment process.”
Why does the report refer to the Vatican situation last November?
“The report illustrates a precise moment in time: November 2011. This is when Moneyval assessors paid their first visit. It should also be noted that the Holy See had until 26 January 2012 to introduce necessary reforms.
So the score we achieved for the period being examined is very good. It does not however reflect the situation in the Vatican on the date on which the report was published, July that is. Much progress in the improvement of the money laundering system was made after January 2012, but these further modifications are only mentioned in the report’s footnotes, not in the main body of the text.
These footnotes demonstrate that the anti-money laundering system, the IOR’s especially, is in fact a lot more advanced than nine months ago. So the real picture is even better than that painted by the report.”
Let’s talk about the more controversial points. Why does the Vatican have problems cooperating on an international level?
“Moneyval’s assessors have examined the issue of international cooperation, to do with the replies to letters rogatory and so on, carefully. It should be noted that although the Vatican has established relations with almost all countries in the world, the accusation of non-cooperation was only made by one country.
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