Vatican Law Against Money Laundering Takes Effect

Financial Information Authority Collaborates With Council of Europe

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2011 ( A new law aimed at preventing money laundering of funds from criminal activities and the financing of terrorism took effect on Friday in the Vatican.

The implementation of this law was announced in a Vatican communiqué, which noted that the regulation was already publicized last Dec. 30 in a statement from the Vatican Secretariat of State.

On that same day was published an apostolic letter on this issue signed by Benedict XVI. This letter established the Financial Information Authority as an autonomous and independent body with the task of preventing and countering money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

The communiqué noted that the new law took effect on Friday “in full title in that commitment of the Apostolic See on so many other subjects, perhaps less high-sounding but not because of this less important, of charity in truth, understood, that is, for the building of a just and honest civil coexistence.”

Also on Friday, another law took effect to regulate the carrying of cash. The Vatican communiqué explained that this new rule does not prohibit “carrying sums higher than €10,000, either when entering or leaving Vatican City State, but it does stipulate that they be declared to the offices and organizations obligated by the anti-money laundering legislation, where an operation is to be carried out, or to the Corps of the Gendarmerie at the entrance to the State.”

The control on movements of cash is in fact held at the international level as “an important instrument of transparency because the presence of an anti-laundering normative system, which provides for careful controls of financial movements,” the communiqué noted.

It affirmed that the declaration of the bearer “is made in such a way that the confidential nature and security of the individual that carries the cash is ensured to the ends of completion of operations.”

Future regulations

The Financial Information Authority, “which has a general power of control” on these issues, “will issue in the future other regulations,” the communiqué stated, “facilitating the life of the operators, citizens and dependents and guaranteeing to all clear dispositions for the exact carrying out of the obligations provided in the law.”

The Vatican explained that as a public authority, in fact, this institution “has the task to serve Vatican City State and the Holy See and, through them, to favor all those that operate in it.”

In this regard, the authority will elaborate “signs of anomaly for identifying suspect operations,” to identify more readily the “situations of operative risk” for the individuals concerned.

The communiqué reported, moreover, that Marcello Condemi and Francesco De Pasquale, respectively substitute president and director of the authority, participated last month, on behalf of the Holy See, in the third meeting on the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism, which was signed in Warsaw, Poland, in 2005.

Condemi and De Pasquale also met with members of MONEYVAL, “an office of the Council of Europe charged with examining anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws, including those of the Holy See.”

The communiqué concluded, “In coming days they will attend the 35th plenary assembly of MONEYVAL in Strasbourg, during which attention will also be given to the Holy See’s proposal to submit its own anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism measures for examination by that office.”

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