Vatican hands down first money laundering sentence

General view of St.Peter's square in the Vatican City, May 17, 2015. (Reuters)
Updated 27 December 2018
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Vatican hands down first money laundering sentence

  • Proietti is on trial in Italy for bankruptcy fraud, and was accused of illegally siphoning money from his business to his Vatican account

VATICAN CITY: A Vatican court has ordered an Italian businessman jailed for money laundering, a first for the notoriously secret micro-state.
The court ordered Angelo Proietti, 63, jailed for two-and-a-half years, and seized more than a million euros ($1.14 million) that he deposited in an account at the IOR or Vatican bank.
The account has been frozen since the case began in 2014.
Proietti is on trial in Italy for bankruptcy fraud, and was accused of illegally siphoning money from his business to his Vatican account.
He is under house arrest and can appeal the sentence. He would not serve time in the Vatican itself but in an Italian prison as the Vatican only has holding cells.
“This is the first time that this crime has been prosecuted in Vatican jurisprudence,” the seat of the Roman Catholic Church said in a statement Thursday about the December 17 sentence.
The IOR has 15,000 clients, most of whom have connections with the Catholic Church, and manages around 5.7 billion euros in assets.
The Vatican’s bank made headlines following the 1982 death of Roberto Calvi, known as “God’s banker” because of his links to the Holy See, whose corpse was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London.
Prosecutors believe it was a mafia killing linked to money laundering via the bank.
That and other scandals prompted a clean-up in recent years, first under Pope Benedict XVI and then under the current pontiff Pope Francis, with about 5,000 bank accounts closed.


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 10 min 43 sec ago

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.