Vatican Hires Financial Crime Watchdog

In an effort to comply more fully with international standards against financial criminal activity, the Vatican has hired an outside expert. René Brülhart, a 40-year-old Swiss international lawyer, started working as a consultant to the Vatican in September on “all matters related to anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism.” Brülhart’s role is to assist the Holy See in strengthening its framework to fight financial crimes. A report by European finance experts released in July said the Vatican had passed its first major test toward becoming more financially transparent and compliant with international norms. But the report by Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, said there were still critical loopholes that needed tightening and other “important issues” to be addressed.

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