Sunday, October 20, 2013

Iran and Iraq and other high risk countries have accounts in the Vatican Bank

In the September 9th  blog (below) I explained how the Vatican bank was laundering money and having dealings with criminals and other suspicious characters.  Now, we get more information from Reuters reporters that the scandals in the Vatican books are even worse than expected.

The Vatican bank is supposed to hold accounts only for organizations and individuals related to the catholic church or Vatican City. But there are accounts that should never have been opened: those of foreign embassies such as Iran, Iraq and Indonesia who regularly make large cash deposits and withdrawals. When the embassies of these high risk countries were questioned, they had vague explanation about why they were doing such transactions. In one case, a large cash withdrawal was said to be for "refurbishment" -- is that another name for supporting terrorists?

Iran, Iraq and Indonesia are classified by international institutions and governance bodies as countries at high risk of financial crimes. The Iranian and Iraqi embassies to the Vatican said they had no comment on the cash movements or the concerns raised by regulators. The Vatican bank also had no clear explanations.   I think these discoveries are only the tip of the iceberg – how many other “high risk” countries are involved with the Vatican bank and its political schemes?