Not much of surprise really, although the Vatican issued a statement saying, “The Holy See is perplexed and astonished by the initiatives of the Rome prosecutors.” Presumably they mean they can’t believe that the police had the balls to question the Vatican’s dodgy activities! From the BBC:
The head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, is under investigation as part of a money-laundering inquiry, police sources say. Prosecutors also seized 23m euros ($30m; £19m) from the bank’s accounts with another smaller institution. The inquiry was launched after two suspicious transactions were reported to tax police in Rome.
The Vatican said it was “perplexed and astonished”, and expressed full confidence in Mr Tedeschi. The Vatican Bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), was created during World War II to administer accounts held by religious orders, cardinals, bishops and priests.
Rome magistrates are looking into claims that Mr Gotti Tedeschi and the bank’s chief executive Paolo Cipriani violated laws that require banks to disclose information on financial operations.
The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says the Bank of Italy’s financial intelligence unit tipped off Italy’s tax police last week, after two suspicious transactions were reported between the Vatican Bank and two different Italian banks.
The tax police seized 23m euros that the Vatican Bank had tried to transfer from a small Italian bank called Credito Artigianato. Some 20m euros was destined for JP Morgan in Frankfurt, with the remainder going to another Italian bank, Banca del Fucino…
[continues at the BBC]