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Pope Taps Former Bank of Italy Exec to Head Watchdog Agency

Pope Francis has tapped a former Bank of Italy executive to take over the Vatican’s financial intelligence unit following a scandal that resulted in the Vatican being suspended from an international anti-money laundering network.

Pope Francis has tapped a Bank of Italy executive to take over the Vatican’s financial intelligence unit following a scandal that resulted in the Vatican being suspended from an international anti-money laundering network.

Carmelo Barbagallo has been head of the Italian central bank’s vigilance unit since 2014, and until earlier this year, a consultant.

He replaces Rene Bruelhart, who was removed following an Oct. 1 raid on the AIF headquarters as part of a corruption investigation by Vatican prosecutors into a London real estate venture. Following the raid and seizure of documents, the Egmont Group of some 160 financial intelligence units suspended the Vatican from its secure communications network because the Vatican could no longer ensure its data would be kept confidential and secure.

The scandal has raised questions once again about the Vatican’s murky finances, after it worked for a decade to erase its reputation as a financial pariah and offshore tax haven.

Read more at US News and World Report