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Vatican finance inspector received 128 suspicious activity reports in 2022

May 11, 2023

The Vatican’s Supervisory and Financial Information Authority (ASIF), which is charged with the task of combating combat money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as conducting financial intelligence, received 128 reports of suspicious activities in 2022.

ASIF released its 2022 annual report on May 10 (Vatican news summary). According to its annual reports, reports of suspicious activity have varied widely over the years but have risen steadily since 2019.

At times, ASIF has quietly revised the number of suspicious activity reports in a given year in subsequent annual reports—raising questions about the reliability of the data upon initial publication.

For example, in 2018, there were 56 reports of suspicious activity (according to the 2018 annual report), later revised to 54 reports (in the 2019 annual report), and still later revised to 83 reports (in subsequent annual reports).

  • 2011: 1
  • 2012: 6
  • 2013: 202
  • 2014: 147
  • 2015: 544
  • 2016: 207 (later revised to 208)
  • 2017: 150
  • 2018: 56 (later revised to 54, then to 83)
  • 2019: 64 (later revised to 95)
  • 2020: 89
  • 2021: 104
  • 2022: 128

According to the 2022 annual report, 124 of the 128 suspicious activity reports came from the IOR (the Institute for the Works of Religion, or Vatican Bank). The annual report notes that “a total of 19 reports” (presumably of the 128) “were submitted to the Office of the Promoter of Justice” (Vatican City prosecutor).

Founded by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 as the Financial Information Authority (FIA, or AIF), the agency was renamed and given new statutes in 2020. It has been led by its current president, Carmelo Barbagallo, since 2019; its previous president, René Brülhart, was charged by Vatican prosecutors with abuse of office.


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