Vatican City

Suspect Vatican transactions 'show system works' says AIF

'Not tied to financing terrorism'

Suspect Vatican transactions 'show system works' says AIF

(see related) Vatican City, May 22 - The six cases of suspect transactions at the Holy See last year "are the sign that the reporting system has started to work," the head of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF) said Wednesday "It's a rather promising and encouraging sign," said Rene' Bruelhart, commenting on the AIF's 2012 annual report. He did not go into the specifics of the transactions, specifying only that "they were not tied to financing terrorism". The AIF said this was a big increase on the single case that was identified in 2011 at the presentation of its first annual report on the Vatican's activities to combat money laundering. Established by Benedict XVI in 2010, the AIF is charged with monitoring the commercial and monetary activities of Vatican agencies, such as the Governorate of Vatican City State and the Vatican Bank, also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). The Holy See has been trying without success to join the 'white list' of states that meet international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In a report last July, the Council of Europe's Moneyval department said that the Holy See had made progress on financial transparency, but added that more reforms were needed. Soon after, the Holy See appointed Bruelhart, a Swiss expert, to work on Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) activities and strengthen the Holy See's framework to fight financial crimes.

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