Holocaust survivors ask EC to investigate money laundering

By Christine Duhaime | October 28th, 2010

Holocaust survivors from the former Yugoslavia have requested that the European Commission start an inquiry to determine if their assets were laundered by financial institutions associated with the Vatican City State, according to this report in Bloomberg. The request to the EC is based on a 1997 U.S. State Department report that allegedly claimed the Vatican Bank laundered assets stolen from thousands of Jewish people killed or captured by the Ustaša, the Nazi-backed regime in power in Croatia at that time.

The claims were the subject of a U.S. federal lawsuit filed against the Vatican Bank in San Francisco in 1999 by Holocaust survivors from Croatia, Ukraine and Yugoslavia. The case was dismissed in December 2009 by a U.S. appeals court on the basis that the Vatican Bank is a sovereign entity entitled to the protection of the U.S.  Foreign Service Immunities Act.

The Holocaust survivors approached the EC on the basis that it has jurisdiction over the Vatican Bank in matters related to money laundering.

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