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Vatican financial authority joins world network of financial-intelligence agencies

Catholic World News - July 04, 2013

The Financial Information Authority (FIA) – a Vatican body established by Pope Benedict in 2010 to prevent money laundering and other illegal financial activities – has been admitted into the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.

The July 4 announcement that the FIA had been admitted to the international group was welcome news for Vatican financial managers, who have been battered in recent days by the resignation of the director of the Vatican bank and the arrest of another Vatican official charged with financial misconduct. The creation of the FIA was part of a determined effort-- begun under Pope Benedict XVI and accelerated by Pope Francis-- to restore confidence in the Vatican's financial institutions.

“The admission of FIA to the Egmont Group represents a recognition of the Holy See/Vatican City State’s systematic efforts in tracking and fighting money laundering and financing of terrorism,” said FIA director René Brülhart. “Our admission to this global network will further improve our ability to contribute to the fight against financial crime.”

The Egmont Group was founded in 1995 to facilitate the international sharing of information to combat criminal financial activities. Membership in the Egmont Group is limited to central national agencies, over 130 of which have joined. The US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is a member.

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