Vatican freezes assets of arrested cleric

Friday 12 July 2013 12.12
The accounts of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano frozen by Vatican
The accounts of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano frozen by Vatican

The Vatican has frozen the assets of a monsignor who was arrested in a €20m money smuggling plot and warned that other people may be caught up in the investigation.

The Vatican's chief prosecutor froze the accounts at the Vatican bank of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano.

He was arrested by Italian authorities last month on accusations of corruption and slander for allegedly plotting to bring €20m into Italy aboard a private jet to avoid declaring it at customs.

A judge has refused to grant him house arrest.

In a statement, the Vatican said its own investigation into Scarano was triggered by several suspicious transactions reports filed with the Vatican's financial watchdog agency. It said its probe "could be extended to additional individuals."