Could Money Laundering be the Reason for Unexplained Funds Transfer from the Vatican to Australia?

Vatican investigators have claimed that a report showing $1.8 billion was wired from the Vatican to Australia from 2014 to 2020 is “significantly” overestimated, but many questions remain about the transfers, which some experts say point to money laundering and organized crime involvement.

The Australian newspaper, which first broke the story of the transactions, reported Jan. 6 that the country’s financial crime regulator — the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) — has been working closely with the Holy See’s financial intelligence unit and found “anomalies” in the figures, which are expected to be revised soon.

The Vatican confirmed to the Register Jan. 7 that contacts between its Financial Information and Supervision Authority and Austrac “are ongoing” with a view to “examining the data provided by the latter in recent days.”

Details of the alleged $1.8 billion, made in 47,000 separate transfers, emerged just before Christmas when Austrac presented the figures in response to a request from Australian senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.

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