Vatican’s new anti-money laundering law set to take effect

Meets mixed review from Italian anti-money laundering authority

A new Vatican law is set to go into effect setting up a new authority against money laundering and laying down stiff jail terms. The law also strictly bars financing of terrorist activity and counterfeiting currency.

The new norms met a mixed response of high praise and some doubt from the Italian Anti-Money Laundering Authorities Association (AIRA), which performed a technical review of the law.

“It is a great step forward, and in some ways, it is more advanced than the Italian (law),” said AIRA’s head, Raineiri Razzante, who is also a Florence University professor and consultant to the Italian parliament’s anti-mafia commission. “In particular, it introduces the crime of self-money laundering, or the reinvestment of the capital by whomever received it, which is not yet covered in the (Italian) penal code. “And it is very detailed and strict in its provisions (against) financing terrorism. There are, however, some aspects to be studied”.

As for cash, Razzante says the Vatican’s norm obliges businesses to observe new anti-money laundering provisions with cash transactions worth 15,000 euros and above, whereas Italian and European norms kick in at 5,000 euros.

“It comes down to assessing whether (the Vatican’s law) can promote infiltration,” he told ANSA.

In addition, Razzante expressed concern over the Vatican’s definition of which criminal activities are considered as the base for money laundering, as it appears to exclude proceeds from tax evasion.