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Monday, January 18, 2021

Australian Financial Watchdog Reviews Data on Vatican’s Large Money Transfers

Australia’s financial watchdog announced on Thursday that it is currently conducting a review of its data after clarifications were raised regarding its report that a total of $1.8 billion had been transferred from the Vatican and the Australian Catholic Church since 2014.

The financial intelligence regulator of Australia announced on Thursday that it is currently conducting a review of its data after clarifications were raised regarding its report that a total of $1.8 billion had been transferred from the Vatican and the Australian Catholic Church since 2014.

Before the year 2020 ended, a senior official from the Vatican and an Australian bishop have denied knowledge of the money transfers.

The Vatican Church then said that they would seek cooperation from Australian authorities to clarify their claims and state the specific origin and destination of the money transfers.

In response to the church’s request, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) said that it is currently doing reviews to get to the bottom of the issue.

“AUSTRAC is currently undertaking a detailed review of the figures and is working with the Holy See and Vatican City State Financial Intelligence Unit on this matter,” said the agency.

According to the financial watchdog, it was able to list approximately 47,000 separate transfers from the Vatican to Australia over the past six years, adding that the transfers ranged from yearly totals of $55.6 million (AU$71.6 million) in 2014 to $A451 million (AU$581.3 million) in 2017.

AUSTRAC specified the total amount of transferred money and the number of annual transactions made in response to a parliamentary question by Australian Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells without indicating specific details regarding the senders or recipients.

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