A Money-Smuggling Scandal Threatens to Sink the Vatican Bank
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Bloomberg Businessweek
Posted: July 9th, 2013
A Vatican cleric, a spy, and a financier are accused of conspiring to smuggle 20 million ($26 million) out of Switzerland aboard a private jet. In fact, its the latest scandal to hit the Vatican bank, prompting Pope Francis to make sweeping management changes. The Holy See removed the banks longtime director and deputy director on July 1, three days after Monsignor Nunzio Scarano and two other men were arrested in connection with the alleged smuggling scheme. Perhaps the most colorful twist in the saga was the arrest on June 28 of Monsignor Scarano. The 61-year-old cleric, a former banker for Bank of America (BAC) in Italy, joined the priesthood in 1986 and most recently headed a Vatican financial department called APSA. Italian media outlets have dubbed him Don 500, because of a reported fondness for carrying large banknotes. John Thavis, a longtime Vatican correspondent for the Catholic News Service, says that while Scarano didnt work at the Vatican Bank, he had accounts there. His arrest appeared to confirm suspicions that the bank, which oversees about 7.1 billion in assets, continues to be used as an offshore haven, Thavis writes. Scarano is accused of conspiring with a member of Italys secret services and a financial broker to move 20 million from Switzerland to Italy. The latest scandal indicates that the bank may be irreformable, Vatican journalist Thavis writes.
Note: Could Pope Francis be serious in his efforts to reform the corrupt Vatican Bank? For more on financial scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.