Thursday, March 8, 2012

State Department labels Vatican as money-laundering center

"The Vatican has for the first time appeared on the State Department's list of money-laundering centers 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 programs 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."


I just got through mentioning how odd I thought it was that the Treasury Department labeled an Iranian General as a narco-trafficker.  But this is truly bizarre - the State Department labels the Vatican as a potential center for narco-terrorism?  I guess there has to be balance - if you add a Muslim then you have to add a Catholic to show you aren't biased.

How many lists are there?  How many agencies does it take to fight financial narco-terrorism?

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