By Kylie Stevens, Daily Mail Australia, December 22, 2020
- The Vatican has secretly transferred $2.3billion to Australia in the last six years
- Transactions peaked at $581.3m in 2017, according to financial crime regulator
- Australian Federal Police investigating information received from Austrac
- Shocked Catholic Church leaders claim they have no knowledge of transactions
Senior Catholic Church leaders have expressed shock over explosive revelations the Vatican has secretly transferred $2.3billion to Australia in the last six years, claiming they haven’t seen a cent of the money.
Figures released by Australian financial crime regulator Austrac have revealed more than 400,000 transactions have been made since 2014, sparking an Australian Federal Police investigation.
Transfers from the Vatican to Australia rose from $71.6m in 2014 to $137.1m in 2015 before doubling again to $295m in 2016 and peaking at $581.3m in 2017.
More than $422m was transferred in 2018, an additional $491.8m in 2019 and $294.8m this financial year to date, The Australian reported.
An investigation into $2.3billion of secret transactions from The Vatican to Australia continues.
The individual recipients of the transactions haven’t been disclosed.
Australian Federal Police confirmed it continues to investigate information from Austrac about the Vatican’s transactions to Australia.
Several senior Catholic Church figures, who declined to be named, were stunned to hear about the transferred funds, claiming to the publication they had no knowledge or received a single cent.
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The Austrac figures also revealed $117.4m was sent from Australia to the Vatican since 2014, including $7.5million to date in 2020.
The transactions were disclosed in response to questions from federal Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
‘In the light of the investigations at the Vatican into corruption, embezzlement and money laundering, with charges already being laid and Vatican officials suspended, we need to know where the money went,’ she told The Australian.
This article first appeared HERE.