Catholic World News

Vatican prosecutor tackled child-porn, drug dealing, money laundering cases in 2014

February 02, 2015

The Vatican’s top criminal prosecutor has disclosed that his office investigated a number of serious crimes—including drug dealing, money laundering, and two reports of child pornography—during the past year.

“The Vatican city-state has gone from being a small Italian enclave to an active member of an international community that is becoming increasingly global not just in terms of customs but unfortunately also in terms of criminal activity,” observed Gian Piero Milano, the prosecutor general.

Milano did not identify the individuals accused of the more serious crimes. But Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, confirmed that Josef Wesolowski, the defrocked Polish archbishop who once served as apostolic nuncio in the Dominican Republic, was one of those accused of possession of child pornography. Wesolowski, who was laicized after a canonical trial, is now being held at the Vatican and faces criminal charges.

The drug-trafficking investigation involved a package of cocaine delivered to the Vatican post office. It was not addressed to any individual; any Vatican resident might have claimed it. Police, detecting the cocaine during an airport inspection, hoped to catch the recipient when he picked up the package. But no one claimed it. The investigation is still continuing. Milano disclosed that his office is still investigating the mysterious case of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, who disappeared in 1983. Without commenting on the theories that have arisen to explain her disappearance—which have included supposed involvement of the Mafia, the plot to assassinate St. John Paul II, corruption in the Vatican bank, and an alleged pedophile ring—Milano said that the disappearance of the 15-year-old girl remains a “delicate and largerly unresolved case.”

 


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