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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SECRETARIAT OF STATE COMMUNIQUE ON IOR INVESTIGATION

VATICAN CITY, 22 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy See Press Office published the following communique issued by the Secretariat of State concerning investigations by Roman tax authorities into the president and the director general of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR). The investigations concern the suspected violation of European norms on money laundering and have involved a freeze on twenty-three million euros held by the institution.

  "As is well known, the authorities of the Holy See have repeatedly expressed their desire for complete transparency regarding the financial activities of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR). This requires the implementation of all procedures aimed at preventing terrorism and money laundering. For this reason the authorities of the IOR have, for some time, been seeking the necessary contacts and meetings - both with the Bank of Italy and with relevant international bodies (the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (GAFI)) - for the inclusion of the Holy See in the so-called White List.

  "The Holy See thus expresses its perplexity and amazement at this initiative by the Procurator's Office in Rome, bearing in mind the fact that the necessary information is already available at the competent office of the Bank of Italy, and that similar operations regularly take place with other Italian credit institutions.

  "As for the sums mentioned, it should be noted that they are cash transactions with non-Italian credit institutions, the beneficiary of which is the IOR itself.

  "The Holy See thus wishes to express its complete confidence in the president and the director general of the IOR".
SS/                                    VIS 20100922 (290)

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