Vatican bank accused of laundering

The Vatican is facing some awkward questions after an investigation was launched into its alleged involvement in a money-laundering scheme.

The financial scandal was triggered by a report in an Italian magazine that claimed the Vatican bank laundered some $200 million.

The alleged secrets of the Vatican have often provided rich material for fictional works, such as blockbuster film Angels and Demons, but the Holy See now has to deal with a case equally shrouded in mystery.

The Vatican Bank has been accused of laundering $200 million through the accounts of Italy’s UniCredit Bank, one of the world's largest financial institutions.

The London Telegraph recently reported that the Vatican Bank is the eighth most popular destination for laundered money, ahead of the Bahamas, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The reason for this is that you cannot trace any movement of cash within the bank.

“I had the privilege to walk inside this bank. It’s nothing like a bank,” shared lawyer Massimiliano Gabrieli. “If you go there you deposit or withdraw money without limit, without any kind of receipt for the bank and for the client. All you have is a single card with a number.”