Tuesday 17 October 2017

Author links slain Vatican banker to drug kingpin

Nick Squires Rome

A VATICAN banker found hanged under London's Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 had previously undisclosed links to Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug smuggler, the author of a new book has claimed.

Roberto Calvi (pictured), nicknamed "God's Banker" due to his close ties to the Vatican Bank, was found hanged beneath the bridge amid suspicions that he was murdered.

Ayda Suarez Levy, the widow of a Bolivian drug lord, has claimed Mr Calvi was laundering drug cartel money through an account in Nassau in the Bahamas on behalf of South American drug lords. Her book, 'The Cocaine King', sheds new light on Mr Calvi's death.

Mrs Levy claimed in an interview on Italian television that Mr Calvi was her husband's "Italian contact". "He said he could vouch for us," she said. "He said by vouching for us at such a high level, business would go well for us. I imagine he was talking about cocaine."

Mrs Levy told of a meeting between her husband and Gunter Sachs, a German playboy.

She said that, before Mr Calvi's death, she, her husband and Mr Sachs had discussed the banker.

Mr Sachs reportedly said: "Calvi is very scared because Pablo Escobar wants his money back from the bank in Nassau."

The Bahamas bank that he was referring to was an affiliate of Banco Ambrosiano, which was Italy's biggest private bank when it collapsed in 1982.

Mrs Levy's comments raise speculation that Escobar may have had a motive to kill Mr Calvi, if the banker could not provide him with his money. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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