Vatican bank again in the eye of the storm after probe

The Vatican`s bank found itself fending off fresh accusations of wrongdoing on Wednesday after Italian prosecutors opened a probe against senior executives for violating money laundering norms.

Updated: Sep 22, 2010, 23:30 PM IST

Vatican City: The Vatican`s bank found
itself fending off fresh accusations of wrongdoing on Wednesday after
Italian prosecutors opened a probe against senior executives
for violating money laundering norms.

The investigation, launched against the bank`s president
and another manager, risks casting another shadow on the
Vatican after the priest paedophilia scandal that has rocked
the Catholic Church around the world.
And it is a fresh blow to the bank itself, whose
reputation was badly hit by the 1980s Banco Ambrosiano
scandal.

IOR president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has been accused of
violating laws put in place in 2007 that have tightened rules
on disclosure of financial operations to the Italian central
bank in a bid to stamp out money laundering.

Gotti Tedeschi, whose appointment in 2009 was greeted as
a move towards greater transparency, said he was "profoundly
humiliated and mortified" by the probe.
He previously Spanish banking giant Santander`s
representative in Italy and has the reputation of being an
authority on the ethics of finance.

Prosecutors have also ordered the seizure of 23 million
euros (USD 30 million ) belonging to the the Istituto per le
Opere di Religione (IOR).

PTI