Holy See. AIF 2015 Report, “effective regulatory framework” against frauds

2015 as a “turning point”, with a Holy See that provided itself with an “effective regulatory framework to fight against and prevent financial frauds”, the “actual implementation and enforcement” of which was tested last year. This is the summary – in the words of the director of the Financial Information Authority (Autorità di informazione finanziaria (Aif)) of the Holy See and Vatican City, Tommaso Di Ruzza – of AIF 2015 Report, which has been presented in Vatican today. A year in which international cooperation between the Vatican authority concerned and its international counterparts in the fight against financial fraud has increased. “International cooperation will still be one of AIF’s key efforts. Further Memorandums of Understanding have been entered into with the Authorities concerned in other places of jurisdiction, and the bilateral exchange of information has remarkably increased”, pointed out the president of the Authority, René Brülhart. In the last three years, AIF’s efforts have brought in 893 suspicious activity reports (202 in 2013, 147 in 2014, and 544 in 2015). “The increase in the number of reports has not been driven by a higher number of potential frauds, but by multiple factors, such as the end of the procedure for closing relations that are no longer in keeping with the Vatican legislation, and the policies adopted by the supervised agencies, the monitoring of users’ work as part of volunteer tax cooperation schemes implemented in some foreign countries, as well as generally the strengthening of reporting systems and the supervised agencies’ rising awareness of their reporting duties”, Di Ruzza pointed out. So much that in those three years “34 reports have been sent to the Promoter of Justice”, recalled the director of AIF, for further investigations by the legal authorities, 17 of which in 2015. The number of cases of bilateral cooperation between AIF and the international authorities concerned – as argued from the Report – has grown from 4 in 2012 to 81 in 2013, to 113 in 2014, and up to 380 in 2015. Since 2012, the number of international statements about outbound cash-flows over 10,000 euros has steadily decreased from 1,782 (2012) to 1,557 (2013) and to 1,111 in 2014 and did not change in 2015 (1,196). International statements about inbound cash-flows have decreased too, from 598 (2012) to 550 (2013), to 429 in 2014 and down to 367 in 2015.

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