The Vatican has finally revamped it laws to address the growing concern of money laundering and terrorist financing. The Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing body Moneyval told the Vatican that it “needs to deliver some real results on the prosecutorial side.”
According to a Wall Street Journal article, there have been no enforcement actions since the 2013 Vatican anti-money laundering law, which was put into place to tackle serious financial crimes.
Over the years, the Church’s bank, known formally as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) has faced extensive criticisms by Italian prosecutors for failing to execute proper due diligence over customers and monitoring suspicious transactions.
The report includes Moneyval’s take oN the Holy See’s compliance with the 16 key and core 2003 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Anti-Money laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Recommendations.
Moneyval commended the scandal-ridden Vatican bank on its “intensive review process,” which led to the closure of 4,800 accounts and the implementation of the necessary measures to “identify and verify account holders”.
The committee’s study “confirms that the Holy See has established a functional, sustainable and effective system, aiming at preventing and fighting financial crimes,” Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, the Vatican’s undersecretary for relations with states said last week.
There has been a significant increase in suspicious activity, the report said. About 329 cases were reported between January and September 2015 due to the constant review of IOR accounts. Since the launch of the Financial Intelligence Authority, about 30 reports have been sent to prosecutors and 29 money-laundering cases are being investigated.