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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vatican cleric Scarano charged with aundering millions through the Vatican bank

    


Monsignor Nunzio Scarano is already on trial and under house arrest on separate charges of plotting to smuggle 20m euros ($26m; £17m) into Italy.

The former Vatican accountant and two other people were served with arrest warrants on Tuesday, police said.
Last year, Pope Francis set up a commission to review the bank's activities after a series of scandals.

Traditionally the Vatican has opposed the right of the Italian judiciary to investigate alleged crimes committed by its officials on the grounds of diplomatic immunity and privilege, reports the BBC's David Willey in Rome.
But under Pope Francis, increased cooperation between the Vatican and Italian authorities led to the arrest of Monsignor Scarano last summer, our correspondent says.

'False donations' On Tuesday, police seized some 6.5m euros in bank accounts and real estate, including Monsignor Scarano's luxury apartment in the southern city of Salerno.
Authorities said the latest charges against the cleric related to "false donations", which he allegedly recycled from offshore accounts through the Vatican bank.

Prosecutors allege that Monsignor Scarano got dozens of people to make contributions to a home for the terminally ill in Salerno, and used the money to pay off a mortgage on one of his properties.
Another Catholic priest has also been arrested on charges of laundering and making false statements, officials say. 


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