VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Vatican security officers stopped two men — one American and one Dutch — trying to enter the Vatican bank with a briefcase full of fake bonds.
Officers with the Vatican gendarme corps intercepted the two men March 29 when the men approached a guarded entrance and asked to be let into the Vatican bank, known formally as the Institute for the Works of Religion.
According to Vatican Radio, the men did not have Vatican bank accounts and they did not have an appointment with anyone at the bank.
The men were apprehended and, according to Vatican-Italy agreements, placed into the custody of the Italian financial police. They have been charged by both Vatican and Italian authorities, the radio reported.
The briefcase contained fake bonds appearing to be worth billions of euros and U.S. dollars, according to Agence France-Presse. The Italian finance police found fake passports and other false documents in the men’s hotel rooms, the news agency reported.
The police crackdown “shows the controls are working,” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told AFP.
“But I don’t think we’re talking about a plot by criminal masterminds if they managed to get caught at the first hurdle,” he added.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: