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教皇聘请前白宫反恐专家洗刷梵蒂冈银行洗钱臭名

Geoffrey Smith 2014年06月12日

梵蒂冈新任教皇为防范洗钱丑闻滋生,宣布聘请曾负责追查萨达姆资产的前美国白宫反恐专家加盟新成立的梵蒂冈金融信息局理事会,接替原有的意大利班底。

    所有对华尔街金融机构愤愤不已的股东们都从教皇的金玉良言中学到了一课。

    教皇弗朗西斯一世刚刚砍掉了全部由意大利男性组成的、负责监管梵蒂冈财务活动的机构,藉此与饱受洗钱丑闻困扰的前任划清界限。这是这位新教皇力图清理门户、对外开放的最新迹象,而教会或许是近几年来唯一丑闻赛过华尔街的机构。

    鉴于这位新教皇在梵蒂冈的最初两年大部分时间都在打破禁锢,大家或许可以料想得到,他选择的接替团队会有些出人意外——包括一位乔治•W•布什时期的白宫反恐专家。当年,在此君的带领下,美国最终追踪、收了萨达姆•侯赛因数百万美元的非法资金。

    现任哥伦比亚特区战略与国际研究中心(Center for Strategic and International Studies)高级顾问的胡安•萨拉特是上周五获得任命的梵蒂冈金融信息局(AIF)理事会四名成员之一。爆发一系列丑闻后,教皇本笃十六世成立了AIF,清理梵蒂冈的财务活动。

    依照神圣的标准选出的理事会其他三名成员是:意大利邮政部门保险机构负责人玛利亚•比安卡•法里纳,前新加坡央行行长约瑟夫•皮莱,和管理并为慈善机构提供咨询的前银行家马克•奥登达尔。

    这4人将一起监管雷内•布鲁哈特的工作。这位瑞士律师自从2012年起开始掌管AIF。

    梵蒂冈一位消息人士告诉路透社(Reuters)称:“布鲁哈特想要一个与他合作的理事会,看起来,教皇听从了他的意见,让那些老人收拾包袱走人。”

    AIF负责监管梵蒂冈银行——宗教事务机构(Institute for Works of Religion)的经营等等,后者近年来一直处于各种指控的核心位置。这家银行的一名财务人员蒙席•努齐奥•史卡拉诺目前正在受审,因为他被控密谋帮助自己的富人朋友避税,金额高达数百万欧元。(财富中文网)

    All you discontented shareholders of Wall St institutions–take a leaf out of the Holy Father’s book.

    Pope Francis has just axed the all-male, all-Italian board of the body that oversees the Vatican’s financial activities, aiming to draw a line under the money-laundering scandals that plagued his predecessor. It’s the latest sign of the new pontiff’s desire to clean up and open up possibly the only institution that has had more scandals than Wall St in recent years.

    And as you might expect from a man who’s spent most of his first two years in the Vatican kicking over the traces, there are some surprising choices in His Holiness’ replacement team – including a counter-terrorism expert from George W. Bush’s White House who once led U.S. efforts to track down and confiscate Saddam Hussein’s illegal millions.

    Juan C. Zarate, now a senior adviser at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, is one of four people appointed Friday to the board of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF), which was set up by Pope Benedict XVI to clean up the Vatican’s financial activities after a string of scandals.

    The three other new board members are, by the Holy See’s standards, a diverse bunch: they include Maria Bianca Farina, head of the Italian Postal Service’s insurance arm, and Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay, the former head of Singapore’s central bank. Marc Odendall, a former banker who administers and advises philanthropic organisations, completes the line-up.

    Together, they will oversee the work of Rene Bruelhart, a Swiss lawyer who has headed the AIF since 2012.

    “Bruelhart wanted a board he could work with and it seems the pope has come down on his side and sent the old boy network packing,” a Vatican source told Reuters.

    The AIF oversees, among other things, the operations of the Vatican’s bank, the Institute for Works of Religion, which has been at the heart of some of the most serious allegations. One of the bank’s former accountants, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, is currently on trial accused of plotting to help rich friends avoid millions of euros in taxes.

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