Vatican, Italy sign money laundering prevention agreement

Vatican City, Jul 29, 2013 / 05:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican and Italy have reached an agreement on sharing financial information that will help the two countries prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“The Holy See and the Vatican City State take international responsibilities concerning Anti- Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism very seriously, and Italy is an especially important partner for us,” said René Brülhart, the director of the Vatican Financial Information Authority.

The memorandum of understanding between the Vatican and Italy is based on a model prepared by the Egmont Group, the global organization of national Financial Intelligence Units that the Holy See joined earlier this month.

The agreement establishes guidelines for “reciprocity, permitted uses of information and confidentiality,” according to a July 29 Vatican statement.

The memorandum was signed on July 26 by Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president of the Vatican Information Authority, and his Italian counterpart Dr. Claudio Clemente, director of the Unità di Informazione Finanziaria  (Financial Information Unit) of the Bank of Italy.

A source at one of the Vatican’s financial institutions with knowledge of the new agreement told CNA July 26 that it is not related to the recent arrest of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano on charges of money laundering.

The Vatican has already signed agreements with Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia and the United States.

The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority is currently pursuing agreements with more than 20 other countries and expects to finalize several of those in 2013.
 

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