Vatican releases 1st report of financial watchdog

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Associated Press

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 22 at 1:04 PM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Under pressure from global financial circles, the Vatican has published its first annual report from its financial watchdog agency.

It also announced new regulations to fight money laundering and terror financing.

The Vatican created the oversight agency in 2010 in an effort to shake its image as a secretive tax haven and improve its reputation in global financial circles. The Vatican's image has been marred by a series of scandals at its bank and a money laundering investigation launched by Rome prosecutors in 2010.

According to the report, the watchdog agency received six internal reports on suspicious transactions in 2012, up from one a year earlier. Two were forwarded to Vatican prosecutors for investigation.

But the 10-page report hardly mentioned any supervisory operations carried out in 2012. International financial authorities have recommended the agency conduct inspections and issue internal regulations to fight money laundering and terror financing.

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