The State Department is Concerned About Vatican Money Laundering

Pope Benedict XVI speaks with Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble (R on the wheelchair) during a private meeting at the Vatican March 7, 2012. Osservatore Romano

U.S. adds Vatican to money-laundering ‘concern’ list (Reuters):

The Vatican has for the first time appeared on the U.S. State Department’s list of money-laundering centres but the tiny city-state is not rated as a high-risk country.The 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report was made public on Wednesday and Washington’s list of 190 countries classifies them in three categories: of primary concern, of concern and monitored.

The Vatican is in the second category, grouped with 67 other nations including Poland, Egypt, Ireland, Hungary and Chile.

It was added to the list because it was considered vulnerable to money-laundering and had recently established programmes to prevent it, a State Department official said.

“To be considered a jurisdiction of concern merely indicates that there is a vulnerability to a financial system by money launderers. With the large volumes of international currency that goes through the Holy See, it is a system that makes it vulnerable as a potential money-laundering center,” Susan Pittman of the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, told Reuters.

Last year, the Vatican adapted internal laws to comply with international standards on financial crime.

The Vatican is seeking inclusion on the European Commission’s so-called “white list” of states who comply with international standards against tax fraud and money-laundering. A decision on its inclusion is expected in June.

Countries/Jurisdictions of Concern (

of Primary Concern
of Concern
Other Countries/Jurisdictions
Afghanistan Latvia Albania Marshall Islands Andorra Maldives
Antigua and Barbuda Lebanon Algeria Moldova Anguilla Mali
Argentina Liechtenstein Angola Monaco Armenia Malta
Australia Luxembourg Aruba Mongolia Benin Mauritania
Austria Macau Azerbaijan Montenegro Bermuda Mauritius
Bahamas Mexico Bahrain Morocco Botswana Micronesia FS
Belize Netherlands Bangladesh Nicaragua Brunei Montserrat
Bolivia Nigeria Barbados Peru Burkina Faso Mozambique
Brazil Pakistan Belarus Poland Burundi Namibia
British Virgin Islands Panama Belgium Portugal Cameroon Nauru
Burma Paraguay Bosnia and Herzegovina Qatar Cape Verde Nepal
Cambodia Philippines Bulgaria Romania Central African Republic New Zealand
Canada Russia Chile Saudi Arabia Chad Niger
Cayman Islands Singapore Comoros Senegal Congo, Dem Rep of Niue
China, People Rep Somalia Cook Islands Serbia Congo, Rep of Norway
Colombia Spain Cote d’Ivoire Seychelles Croatia Oman
Costa Rica St. Maarten Czech Republic Sierra Leone Cuba Palau
Curacao Switzerland Djibouti Slovakia Denmark Papua New Guinea
Cyprus Taiwan Ecuador South Africa Dominica Rwanda
Dominican Republic Thailand Egypt St. Kitts and Nevis Equatorial Guinea Samoa
France Turkey El Salvador St. Lucia Eritrea San Marino
Germany Ukraine Ghana St. Vincent Estonia Sao Tome & Principe
Greece United Arab Emirates Gibraltar Suriname Ethiopia Slovenia
Guatemala United Kingdom Grenada Syria Fiji Solomon Islands
Guernsey United States Guyana Tanzania Finland South Sudan
Guinea Bissau Uruguay Holy See Trinidad and Tobago Gabon Sri Lanka
Haiti Venezuela Honduras Turks and Caicos Gambia Sudan
Hong Kong Zimbabwe Hungary Vanuatu Georgia Swaziland
India Ireland Vietnam Guinea Sweden
Indonesia Jamaica Yemen Iceland Tajikistan
Iran Jordan Kyrgyz Republic Timor-Leste
Iraq Kazakhstan Lesotho Togo
Isle of Man Korea, North Liberia Tonga
Israel Korea, South Libya Tunisia
Italy Kosovo Lithuania Turkmenistan
Japan Kuwait Macedonia Uganda
Jersey Laos Madagascar Uzbekistan
Kenya Malaysia Malawi Zambia

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