Vatican Bank To Shut All Embassy Accounts To Halt Money Laundering

Tyler Durden's picture

Followng Pope Francis' demand that the Vatican Bank review its procedures, Reuters reports that the bank is likely to close all accounts held by foreign embassies, following concerns about large cash deposits and withdrawals by the missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The private bank IOR has around EUR7.1 billion in assets but is concerned it could be "an unwitting vehicle for money laundering and other illicit finances."



The Vatican bank is likely to close all accounts held by foreign embassies, following concerns about large cash deposits and withdrawals by the missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to people with knowledge of the situation.


The Vatican's financial watchdog, which examined the transactions in 2011, believed the embassies' justifications for the transactions were too vague or disproportionate to the amounts -- up to 500,000 euros at a time -- these people said. In one case, a large cash withdrawal was said to be for "refurbishment", one person added.


Now the bank and the watchdog want to reduce the possibility that the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), as the bank is called, could be an unwitting vehicle for money laundering and other illicit finances.


Four people with knowledge of the matter said the closure of the accounts was likely to be a key recommendation of a broad review that Pope Francis has ordered of the bank, whose scandal-tainted history has long been an embarrassment for the Holy See.




The IOR is a private bank - currently with about 7.1 billion euros in assets under management - whose stated goal is to hold and manage funds for religious orders of priests and nuns, Catholic charities, Vatican employees, and other Catholic institutions. But the number of account holders has swelled to 19,000 over the years and diversified beyond the original categories with the right to hold accounts.




The bank is also coming clean on possible illicit financial activities. The Vatican has said it detected six possible attempts to use the IOR to launder money last year, and at least seven in the first half of this year. In one case, a prelate who had close ties to the IOR was arrested in June on suspicion of plotting to smuggle 20 million euros in cash into Italy from Switzerland to give to rich friends in southern Italy. The prelate, who will be tried in December, says he was not acting for personal gain.

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bigdumbnugly's picture

Holy sh*t !

or is it Holy Shiite?

blindman's picture

does the pope shit in the woods?

knukles's picture

Do gay priests wear little red corsets?

nmewn's picture

"Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s" ;-)

NoDebt's picture

It's getting so bad you can't even launder money through the Vatican Bank any more.  If they're not safe for nation-state level criminals to do their banking, who is?

I have to admit, this guy is kind of growing on me.

the0ther's picture

You can still put your ill gotten funds into Manhattan real estate bud.


nmewn's picture

The Federal Reserve, the Morgue, Al Sharpton

DeadFred's picture

There's an easy fix to this. Just get those suspect missions to invest in high end US real estate. Every cardinal should have a $50 million dollar penthouse on Park Avenue.

Joe A's picture

They would prefer dungeons

Burticus's picture

Large cash withdrawals in (act surprised) Iran & Iraq?  Hmmm, I wonder who could be interested in those remote, non-Catholic countries?  Apparently, "the Rat," a/k/a the German Shepherd, has been looking the other way like a referree on TV wrestling while the Great Satan and its minions used the Vatican Bank for their demonic schemes.

However, the pope-mobile should serve as a reminder of what happened to the last sincerely spiritual pope and to one of the last honest U.S. presidents who refused to de-monitize silver and challenged the (not really) Federal (with no) Reserve.

Telemakhos's picture

I doubt the US had much involvement in the transfers themselves.  The US, Britain, and most western countries don't have accounts with IOR; if you read the full Reuters article, fewer than two dozen countries have accounts there.  Since these are embassy accounts, they're Official Business for those nations, not the CIA's local front company in Nowheristan.  Now, whether the US shared financial intelligence with the IOR investigative staff is another question, but given the small amounts involved, and the fact that they were all reported at the Vatican-Italian border (which is why they were noted and caught), I'm guessing no again.

Remember, Wachovia was laundering more than $100 billion every year for drug lords (who may or may not have direct or indirect ties with US intelligence).  This iteration of the IOR scandal tops out at three or four billion a year, or about four percent of what one US bank does in the same time.  The Great Satan and its minions play for far larger stakes than this business.  On a global scale, God himself probably doesn't know how much gets laundered through the City, Cyprus, various Asian nations, etc.  The IOR sounds like it's pretty clean by comparison.

The more interesting story here is what got cut, except for the last little morsel, in the ZH summary: the APSA prelate who got busted smuggling €20 million in from Switzerland.  Sure, it's small change in the money laundering world, but he was caught along with an Italian intelligence officer carrying money for "friends in southern Italy," which has to be a euphemism for organized crime.  If the prelate really wasn't acting out of self-interest, as he claims, that raises some interesting questions about in whose interests he was acting, and whether there are unofficial relationships between the Church, the Italian intelligence community, and the mafia.

August's picture

>>>whether there are unofficial relationships between the Church, the Italian intelligence community, and the mafia.


Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Jesus said this when shown a silver denarius engraved with the image of Tiberius. Since the Vatican uses the euro and the image is struck with Pope Benedict does he get the cash? Since its not silver but plated steel, maybe it's best to let the ECB have it.


nmewn's picture

lol...its one of the small minded memes that progressives "Luv" to use out of they are deceivers, the object being to them, Jesus' endorsement of taxation, of statism, of consenting to the evil of worldly things.

Hubris and gall.

He said no such thing. He only acknowledged the power of evil in the world, to do you harm in this world. Tiberius was a pedophile, sexual deviant and a murderer. Jesus would not, could not, endorse Caesar.


Men (and women) will never achieve god status in spite of their egos telling them they can, they need to get over it. Sainthood, is a longshot possiblity. Martyrdom, whenever they choose. Angels, need to be reborn in good & bad form.

All I know is, I ain't no saint, never claimed to be or deserve to be (to many transgressions here) but I will be forgiven for what I do against Caesar's Law.

I would rather be a servant in Heaven than a king in hell anyways, to turn Milton upside down ;-)

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

When one reads the passage it is clear there is no acknowledgment for taxation. However it can easily be manipulated so. It was a masterful trap to catch Jesus which he artfully escaped both the condemnation of Jewish leadership and roman authority. It is to place god above the whims and rules of Man.

Tiberius was the embodiment of sexual perversion. I had an opportunity to visit Capri( I regretted not doing it later) but since that was his headquarters for sexual abominations on children I thought I may get a bad vibe. That Tiberius chose Caligula as his successor meant he had to scrape even lower to leave a legacy where those would miss his rule.


Ghordius's picture

"Tiberius was the embodiment of sexual perversion" - and who wrote that? a few clerics in the middle ages who were commenting on the supposed custom of those times of having young "pool boys & girls" at parties that were supposed to surprise guests swimming in the pools by diving and tickling them

further, Tiberius followed Augustus, not Caligula

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I said Tiberius chose Caligula to succeed him. I did not say Caligula proceeded him. Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero. None of them the epidemy of the example of moral life.


Ghordius's picture

"When one reads the passage it is clear there is no acknowledgment for taxation" - that's why it's called context

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

My goodness Nmewn do you think I was parroting the party line about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar as a validation of taxation? Dear God man who the fuck do you think I am? I was merely turning their idea into a joke.

I take the quote literally. I render unto Caesar what is Caesars. My wages and the fruits of my labors are MINE therefore how does "Caesar" have any right to them? I owe nothing to Caesar. When I was young I took out a student government loan. I paid it off at 7% interest. The government and I are square. Any other interaction has been me being repeatedly raped by them. I expect I will never be paid back what is due me and my only choice now is becoming more and more invisible to them to make their job harder. Then, if fortune is in my favor, I will help with the guillotining.


Angus McHugepenis's picture

Miffed my love.... Ceasar gets fuck all from here on in. The big C got fuck all from me for the past 15 years.

Still got  a little sparkly for you. I'm working it out how to get it to you. I've done some shipments and they've gone through no problem.

Oh, hi Mr. Miffed.

stocktivity's picture

Wait a minute here!  Don't these guys have God backing them up? They wouldn't launder any money...c''s the Vatican for heavens sake! These bankers are above all that.

bread n circuses's picture

"Capitalism breathes through loopholes."



This one closed but 2 more will open.


Stoploss's picture

Shouldn't the finger lines on the popes hands be vertical in that pic?

Lore's picture


No update on the probe (no pun intended) into a sodomite child prostitution ring in Vatican City? 

Vatican Rentboy and Satanism Claims Revealed by Priest (27-Jun-2013)

Pope says child rape isn't that bad, was normal back in his day (2010)

NoWayJose's picture

Unwitting - haha, haha, haha... They knew all along what was happening. They know it now too - only now the spotlight is on them...

in4mayshun's picture

Evidently money laundering is a big sin. Child

lolmao500's picture

Damn. Balls in the Vatican. Make the pope the president of the IMF.

Harbanger's picture

Maybe. This Pope refuses to be driven around in the bulletproof Popemobile, that takes some courage.

krispkritter's picture

After getting all of the Pope’s luggage loaded into the limo,  the driver notices the Pope is still standing on the curb.

‘Excuse me, Your Holiness,’ says the driver, ‘Would you please take your seat so we can leave?’

‘Well, to tell you the truth,’ says the Pope, ‘they never let me drive at the Vatican when I was a cardinal, and I’d really like to drive today.’

‘I’m sorry, Your Holiness, but I cannot let you do that. I’d lose my job! What if something should happen?’ protests the driver, wishing he’d never gone to work that morning.

‘Who’s going to tell?’ says the Pope with a smile.

Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his

decision when, after exiting the airport, the Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to 205 kph.

'Please slow down, Your Holiness!’ pleads the worried driver, but the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens.

'Oh, dear God, I’m going to lose my license –and my job!’ moans the driver.

The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches, but the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio.

‘I need to talk to the Chief,’ he says to the dispatcher.

The Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he’s stopped a limo going 205 kph.

‘So bust him,’ says the Chief.

‘I don’t think we want to do that, he’s really important,’ said the cop.

The Chief exclaimed,’ All the more reason!’

‘No, I mean really important,’ said the cop with a bit of persistence.

The Chief then asked, ‘Who do you have there, the mayor?’

Cop: ‘Bigger.’

Chief: ‘ A senator?’

Cop: ‘Bigger.’

Chief: ‘The Prime Minister?’

Cop: ‘Bigger.’

‘Well,’ said the Chief, ‘who is it?’

Cop: ‘I think it’s Christine Lagarde!’

The Chief is even more puzzled and curious, ‘What makes you think it’s her?’

Cop: ‘Her chauffeur is the Pope!’

Miss Expectations's picture

A catholic woman moved into a new town and wanted to become involved with the local chuch.  After Sunday sevices she introduced herself to the Priest and mentioned that she would like to be involved with the churches' volunteers.  The priest said that on Tuesday afternoon the ladies who volunteer would be having an afternoon tea/get together in the rectory and that she would certainly be welcome to join them.

So, on Tuesday, Alice returned to the church and joined 3 other women at one of the tables where they all seemed to be enjoying some tea and homemade cakes.  They began to chat and one of the woman began to tell a story about her son, who had just taken his final vows to become a priest.  She said, "I was with my son last weekend and it was the first time I heard young women calling my son Father.  It's going to take some getting use to."   The second woman at the table nodded her head and agreed it would take some time.  She said, "My son became a Bishop some years ago and I just can't get over it... people address him as Your Excellency.  The third woman sitting with them now spoke up.  Agreeing with the others, she spoke about her son and mentioned that he was a Cardinal.  She mentioned that the first time someone called him Your Eminence she had no idea who they were talking to!  Finally, they turned to Alice who had been listening politely.  "Alice, do you have any children?"  "Yes, I also have a son" Alice replied.  "Let me tell you about my son.  He's 6'3" tall, has blue eyes and blond hair."  When he walks into a room, all the women stop and stare and say Oh MY God!"

Angus McHugepenis's picture

krispkritter: Christ, that Pope joke should generate a Jesus load of greenies for you. I have to buy a new laptop now. I laughed so hard my ass developed a second crack.

The Phu's picture

The IMF doesn't need any help fucking the poor children in underdeveloped countries.


---before you down vote me, I'm Catholic--- now you can down vote me.

nmewn's picture

I'm Protestant, up voted you, just to be a contrarian, again.

It'll cost you five Hail Mary's though...and me at least one

krispkritter's picture

Make it 5 Bloody Mary's and you got a deal!

The Phu's picture

Hail Mary, full of grace... aw forget it...  A lot of people on here can't take a joke. 


Lord, I'm not ready to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed. (old version on purpose, I don't like the new one).

geekgrrl's picture

Ex-Catholic here, and in my opinion, the best thing that could ever happen to the world would be the elimination of fundamentalist religion and dogma. Christian, Jewish, Islamic. All of it is crap and needs to be dispensed with.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

That would be very hard geekgrrl. Many people have a need to cling to these religions to give themselves an anchor, a purpose, a way to view life. To yank that away would leave them lost. Some people thrive on dogmatic rules. I was raised Anglican and lean now to Buddhism ( which is technically a philosophy considering it has no articles of Faith) but I am a follower of Christ's teaching though unchurched. I think when you add a bureaucracy to religion and allow the power hungry to use it for their personal gain, it becomes corrupted.


geekgrrl's picture

Given all the people who have been murdered in the name of religion, I cannot consider it as anything but a pathology of mind.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

This guy is ballsy and I must admit, though im not a Catholic, I'm really impressed by some of his actions. Sadly, this means he probably wont be around too long. Hope he steers clear of hot tubs and wears body armor.


samcontrol's picture

He doesn't care about leaving us, he has been there and done that.

My faith has not come back yet but he f rocks. He is now third on my Argi list. Leo, Manu, Francisco.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

He is fascinating. I must admit I am hopeful. Never have I been impressed with a pope during my life time. Of course we are in the early honeymoon phase but Im watching him closely

Interesting sermon the Pope gave about globalism caught my eye


geekgrrl's picture

I'm also hopeful, but maybe less so that you. Do you know about the history of the Jesuits, starting with Loyola?

Pure Evil's picture

Awesom, crime on a global spiritual scale.

And, who said the Pope wasn't the anti-Christ?

nmewn's picture

Pretty sure that was O'Barry ;-)

Ghordius's picture

true pure evil! as Clinton would say, it depends on your definition of "Anti-". Which can mean "the one before the..."

bearish1's picture

The Gold is under the Vatican!! Ssshhhh.....this is just between us.....