Australian police have said they are investigating reports of an alleged transfer of Vatican funds to Australia during the prosecution of former Vatican treasurer George Pell for child sex abuse and have referred the matter to an anti-corruption body.

The Australian Federal Police confirmed they have received information from Australia's financial crimes watchdog.

"The AFP is undertaking a review of the relevant information," the police said in emailed comments.

"The AFP has concurrently referred aspects of this matter to the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)."

Italian media recently reported that a Vatican rival of Cardinal Pell - Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu - sent €700,000 to Australia to help Cardinal Pell's "enemies" while he was facing sexual assault charges.

Cardinal Becciu's lawyer has denied the reports.


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Cardinal Pell was acquitted by Australia's High Court in April after serving 13 months in jail on charges he assaulted two choirboys.

His lawyer said the Italian media reports on the alleged transfer of Vatican funds must be investigated.