Sunday 24 September 2017

Monsignor arrested in probe over Vatican bank scandal

Pope Francis has set up an inquiry into the Vatican banks
Pope Francis has set up an inquiry into the Vatican banks

Antonella Cinelli

A VATICAN monsignor, a member of Italy's secret services and a financial broker were arrested today as part of an Italian investigation into the Vatican bank.

The cleric, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, worked as an accountant in the Vatican's financial administration. He was arrested in a parish in Rome's outskirts, his lawyer Silverio Sica said.

Scarano was suspended from his duties several weeks ago when he was placed under investigation by magistrates in the southern city of Salerno, his home town.

In that investigation, Scarano was accused of taking €600,000 in cash out of an account in the Vatican bank a little at a time, usually €10,000, and giving it to friends who gave him cheques.

He then deposited the cheques into an Italian bank account to pay off a mortgage.

A Vatican spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The arrests came a day after the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had set up a commission of inquiry into the Vatican bank, which is formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion and has been hit by a number of scandals in the past decades.

Reuters

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