It was a story that is hard to believe at first.
The Vatican or Holy See, named in a State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), as a country of “Primary Concern”.
The report categorizes the countries and jurisdiction in these terms:
“In the Country/Jurisdiction Table on the following page, “major money laundering countries” that are in the “Jurisdictions of Primary Concern” category are identified for purposes of INCSR statutory reporting requirements. Identification as a “major money laundering country” is based on whether the country or jurisdiction’s financial institutions engage in transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from serious crime.”
I called the US State Department to confirm this report as real.
Officials indicated that the report is real, and confirmed the website address and certain facts about the report.
See the actual report: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2012/vol2/184112.htm Officials did indicate that the inclusion of the Vatican is a new change…We checked the 2011 report and confirmed that the Holy See was not added at that time. The report simply stated “New jurisdiction in “Jurisdiction of Concern” column (first time in report): Holy See”.
Among the surprises in the report was, of course, the fact that the Holy See or the Vatican was specifically mentioned. The other strange fact was those countries not mentioned in the report, specifically “Saudi Arabia” – which is considered a major funder of terrorism.
Money is laundered through the countries many so called “charity and religious organizations and foundations” and funneled to major Sunni terrorist organizations including the Taliban, the Haqqani Network and al-Qaida just to name a few (see CBO report: Saudi Arabia and Terrorism Financing issueshttp://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL32499.pdf . The State Department mentions Saudi Arabia prominently in another report. According to the website “For additional information focusing on terrorist financing”, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found here:http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/ .
Money laundering is a process by which the illicit source of assets obtained or generated by criminal activity is concealed to obscure the link between the funds and the original criminal activity.
Terrorism financing involves the raising and processing of funds to supply terrorists with resources to carry out their attacks. Why the State Department report on money laundering would mention the Vatican but fail to mention Saudi Arabia is a mystery that defies logic or explanation. “The report is obviously flawed if it didn’t mention Saudi Arabia as a country that engages in money laundering for terrorism”, says William George of Charlotte, N.C. a counter terrorism expert.
“With regard to the Vatican and money laundering it is very real”, says Paul Pinkerton of Charlotte “The London Telegraph recently reported that the Vatican Bank is the eighth most popular destination for laundered money, ahead of the Bahamas, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The reason for this is that you cannot trace any movement of cash within the bank”, he said.
“I had the privilege to walk inside this bank(Vatican Bank). It’s nothing like a bank,” shared lawyer Massimiliano Gabrieli. “If you go there you deposit or withdraw money without limit, without any kind of receipt for the bank and for the client. All you have is a single card with a number.”
The financial scandal was triggered by a report in an Italian magazine that claimed the Vatican bank laundered some $200 million.
Officials admitted that is just the tip of the iceberg. The Vatican is in bed with organized crime, including the Mafia in Italy. “The Holy See was rightly mentioned as a country or jurisdiction of concern in the State Department report and yes it is scandalous”, says Flaco Gonzales. “If the average Catholic knew how corrupt the Church was it would think twice about supporting it”, he says.
I talked with a Catholic Priest in Charlotte about this report and he got angry and took my questions as an assault by the devil against the Catholic Church, then hung up the phone on me when I asked for a comment about alleged money laundering in the Vatican?
So much for an official Catholic response to all this.
We did find news clip of various investigations of money laundering and the Vatican – see Youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT5x2FjsTgw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xzkAQc9hXs . See also allegations of murder, suicide of “God’s Banker”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRo-jcM5PBs
While we do not like to attack organized religion and the Catholic Church – we must also be unbiased in our reporting of the facts which suggest that the Holy See is involved in money laundering activities and organized crime.