Vatican Cleric Arrested in $26M Scheme

by Christopher Freeburn | June 28, 2013 11:01 am

vaticandome[1]An investigation of the Vatican bank by Italian authorities has resulted in the arrest three people[2], including a priest.

On Friday, police imprisoned Monsignor Nunzio Scarano for corruption and slander. Authorities have been examining Scarano’s involvement in alleged money-laundering activities at the Vatican bank. The police say that Scarano, who was recently suspended as an accountant at the Vatican, and two other men attempted to smuggle $26 million in cash from Switzerland into Italy, ABC News notes.

Also arrested by Italian authorities were Giovanni Zito, a former law enforcement officer and Giovanni Carenzio, a financier.

The conspiracy to use a private jet to transport the cash into Italy — avoiding customs fees — was revealed by wire taps. An attorney for Scarano said he was simply acting as a middleman.

If the three men are ultimately convicted, they could receive sentences of up to six years in prison each.

The Vatican bank has long been shadowed by rumors of wrongdoing and illicit deals. Pope Francis has appointed a commission to investigate the bank’s activities[3].

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