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Italian lawyer to head Vatican financial authority

Catholic World News - March 07, 2011

An Italian lawyer specializing in banking, Francesco De Pasquale, has been appointed director of the Vatican’s newly created Financial Information Authority (FIA).

Cardinal Attilio Nicora, the president of the FIA, announced the appointment of De Pasquale to head the Vatican’s efforts to ensure that financial transactions do not open opportunities for money-laundering by criminals or terrorists.

The FIA was created in December 2010 to supervise all Vatican financial transactions. The new office was set up in response to complaints that the Vatican’s banking procedures had allowed for exploitation by criminals involved in money-laundering schemes.

In a Vatican Radio interview, an Italian expert on money-laundering described De Pasquale as “an important professional figure” in the field, noting that the new director of the FIA “has, since 1990, been a member of the Italian delegation to the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (GAFI) and is an expert in evaluating the degree to which the norms of the Statute conform to international anti-money laundering standards.”

The FIA has set up offices in the Palazzo San Carlo, inside the Vatican, and is preparing to assume full responsibility for enforcing the new Vatican standards for financial transactions when they come into effect on April 1.

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