Vatican cash probe exposes $2m gap

Investigators can identify legitimate expenses for about $7m of the $9.5m transferred to Australia from the Vatican in the past six years (CNA/Bohumil Petrik)

Prosecutors examining money-laundering allegations at the Vatican have found a gap of more than $2 million in legitimate financial transfers to Australia from the Holy See between 2014 and 2020. Source: The Australian.

Working with the Bank of Italy, the Vatican Bank and Austrac, the investigators can identify legitimate expenses for about $7 million of the $9.5 million transferred to Australia in the past six years.

After Australia’s international financial watchdog incorrectly estimated there was $2.3 billion transferred from the Vatican City to Australia since 2014, a detailed examination has identified $9.5 million in transfers.

However, the joint examination can identify only about $7 million in legitimate expenses such as travel, wages and pension payments from the Vatican City to Australia since 2014.

Austrac has referred a number of financial transfers between the Vatican and Australia to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as being “actionable financial intelligence” for investigation into potential money laundering and fraud. Vatican investigators have also heard allegations that money was sent to Australia to help adversely affect the investigation and trials of Cardinal George Pell, which began in 2017.

The AFP is continuing to investigate the suspicious transfers, referred by Austrac.


Vatican cash probe exposes $2m gap (By Dennis Shanahan, The Australian

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