monsignor faces further charge of money laundering
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[January 21, 2014]
ROME (Reuters) — Monsignor Nunzio
Scarano, a former top Vatican accountant now on trial for an alleged
plot to smuggle 20 million euros from Switzerland into Italy, was
further charged on Tuesday with laundering millions through the Vatican
bank, his lawyer said.
Scarano has been under house arrest in his native Salerno in
southern Italy as part of the money smuggling trial that began on
December 3. The new charge pertains to suspected laundering via his
accounts at the Vatican bank, lawyer Silverio Sica told Reuters.
Scarano is on trial on charges of conspiring to smuggle some 20
million euros out of Switzerland for rich shipbuilder friends in
Salerno, near Naples.
Police said Scarano and two other people served with arrest warrants
on Tuesday were suspected of laundering and making false statements.
Sica said one of the arrested was a priest friend of Scarano, who
was suspended from his job at the Vatican last year.
A police statement said millions of euros in "false donations" from
offshore companies moved through Scarano's accounts at the Vatican
bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR).
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They said millions of euros worth of bank accounts and real estate
holdings were in the process of being confiscated as part of the
police operation in Salerno that coincided with the issuing of the
arrest warrants. ($1 = 0.7373 euros)
(Reporting by Philip Pullella;
editing by Mark Heinrich)
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