Holy See issues new anti-money laundering motu proprio

By Christine Duhaime | August 10th, 2013

Vatican Strengthens Anti-Money Laundering

Pope Francis issued a new anti-money laundering motu proprio effective today to implement the recommendation of Moneyval in respect of the prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The motu proprio:

  • Broadens Vatican law to non-profit organizations under Canon law that are situated legally in the Vatican;
  • Strengthens the supervisory capacity of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority;
  • Enables the Financial Information Authority to supervise and regulate Vatican financial entities; and
  • Establishes the Financial Security Committee to coordinate anti-money laundering efforts in the Vatican and Holy See.

The head of the Financial Information Authority is Rene Bruelhart, a Swiss lawyer who was engaged by the Vatican to help improve its anti-money laundering controls. It is charged with supervising financial transactions to prevent money laundering, as well as monitoring the circulation of money in the Vatican City state. Last month, it became a full member of Egmont Group, an international network of financial intelligence units.

The Financial Security Committee will be chaired by Msgr. Peter Wells, the American assessor for general affairs — the Vatican’s closest equivalent to a chief of staff. Its members will be the undersecretary for relations with states; the secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; the deputy secretary general of the Governorate; the promoter of justice of the Apostolic Tribunal; the director of the  Financial Information Authority, who will function as the committee’s secretary; and the director of the Security and Civil Protection Services Department

The motu proprio, “Per la Prevenzione ed il Contrasto del Riciclaggio, del Finanziamento del Terrorismo e Della Proliferazione di Armi di Distruzione di Massa,” expands upon that issued in 2010 in respect of anti-money laundering.

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