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Italy Police Seize Vatican Bank Cash as Chief Probed, Ansa Says

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Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Italian police seized 23 million euros ($30 million) from an account registered to the Vatican Bank, whose chairman is under investigation for alleged money-laundering, Ansa news agency reported, without citing anyone.

Italy’s Finance Police confiscated the funds from an account at Credito Artigiano SpA belonging to the Institute for Works of Religion, as the Vatican Bank is called, Ansa said today. Vatican Bank Chairman Ettore Gotti Tedeschi is being probed by Rome prosecutors for alleged money-laundering, the news agency said.

A spokeswoman for the Vatican and a spokesman for Credito Artigiano in Milan declined to comment when contacted by telephone by Bloomberg News.

Today’s seizure came after the Bank of Italy’s financial intelligence unit on Sept. 15 suspended two wire transfers from the Vatican Bank’s account at Credito Artigiano on suspicion that they violated anti-money laundering laws, financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at ltotaro@bloomberg.net; Jeffrey Donovan at jdonovan26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net.