Vatican official arrested in corruption plot

Vatican official arrested in alleged plot to bring 20M euro into Italy by private jet

Associated Press
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An undated photo of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano in Salerno, Italy. A Vatican official already under investigation in a purported money-laundering plot involving the Vatican bank was arrested Friday, June 28, 2013, in a separate operation: Prosecutors allege he tried to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane, his lawyer said. Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a recently suspended accountant in one of the Vatican's main financial departments, is accused of fraud, corruption and slander stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground, attorney Silverio Sica told The Associated Press. He said Scarano was a middleman in the operation: Friends had asked him to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euros they had given him to invest. Sica said Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Giovanni Maria Zito, went to Switzerland to bring the cash back aboard an Italian government aircraft. Such a move would presumably prevent any reporting of the money coming into Italy. The operation failed because Carenzio reneged on the deal, Sica said. (AP Photo/Francesco Pecoraro)

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A Vatican official has been arrested by Italian police for allegedly trying to illegally bring 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into the country from Switzerland with a private jet.

Prosecutor Nello Rossi says Monsignor Nunzio Scarano is accused of corruption and slander stemming from the plot and was being held at a Rome prison.

He was allegedly asked by friends to bring back the money that had been given to financier Giovanni Carenzio in Switzerland. Scarano is supposed to have asked Giovanni Zito, a military official, to bring the money back by jet, avoiding customs.

Scarano was allegedly due to pay Zito a commission of 600,000 euros for the work. He paid only an initial installment of 400,000 euros before being arrested.

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