Director Named for Vatican's New Finance Authority

Brings 20-Year Experience in Combatting Money Laundering

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The cardinal-president of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority has tapped an Italian expert on money laundering to direct the institution.

Cardinal Attilio Nicora chose Francesco De Pasquale to direct the authority, which the Vatican established Dec. 30. De Pasquale has more than 20 years experience as a member of the Italian delegation to the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.

The Financial Information Authority was established Dec. 30 as an autonomous and independent body with the task of preventing and countering money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

Vatican Radio spoke with a professor of economic law and Bank of Italy expert about the Vatican’s progress in ensuring that the Church cannot be deceived into cooperating in financial crime.

Marcello Condemi told Vatican Radio that the Financial Information Authority is already at work, though the Vatican’s new money laundering law comes into effect April 1.

“Firstly, it has established a headquarters. […] Furthermore, it is reviewing the bodies which, by virtue of their typological or organizational characteristics, are believed, in accordance with article two of the law, to be subject to the anti money laundering norms therein contained,” Condemi said.

Speaking of De Pasquale’s appointment, Condemi noted that the director is in charge of “making the decisions and strategic goals adopted by the administrative council operational.”

“This appointment,” he said, “has gone to an important professional figure who for many years has concerned himself with, among other things, the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism. […] [He] is an expert in evaluating the degree to which the norms of the statute conform to international anti money laundering standards.”

Condemi emphasized the Vatican’s efforts to adapt its norms to international legislation. He said the Holy See “has reiterated its determination to continue the journey it has begun and has expressed its readiness formally to adhere to the international organizations charged with countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and to the methods with which they work.”

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ZENIT Staff

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