The President of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority, Carmelo Barbagallo, announced Thursday the lifting of the suspension placed on it by the Egmont Group, and says it can now resume its collaboration with its peers in other countries.

“I am pleased,” President Barbagallo said in his statement, “to announce that, last night, the President of the Egmont Group, Mr Mariano Federici, decided to revoke the decision taken on 13 November 2019 to suspend the Financial Information Authority (AIF) from the international information circuit, Egmont Secure Web.”

Barbagallo called this news “a very important step” that expresses “the confirmed trust of the Egmont Group in the financial information system of the Vatican.”

Clear rules

“This decision follows the explanations provided by AIF to Egmont concerning the extraordinary nature of the facts that gave rise to the suspension and AIF’s assurances that the information received from the Egmont circuit will be treated in a manner that is consistent with the rules that apply to that circuit, partly thanks to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Promoter of Justice.”

Transparency and cooperation

AIF’s president went on to say, “the decision to revoke the suspension makes it possible for AIF to resume its collaboration with foreign financial intelligence units in full transparency and in the spirit of active cooperation.”

AIF’s affiliation with Egmont

In July of 2013, the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority was admitted into the Egmont Group, an international network of 164 Financial Intelligence Units present in 152 countries and jurisdictions.

It provides for the exchange of best practices for the international collaboration and exchange of information.

The Egmont Group had suspended the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority following the 1 October search of AIF’s Vatican offices by the Vatican Gendarmerie on the orders of the Promoter of Justice who were investigating several Vatican employees.

At that time, the Egmont Group was of the opinion that such an event did not guarantee the security necessary for communication between AIF and other Financial Intelligence Units. It therefore suspended AIF.

As of today, AIF’s participation in the Egmont Group has been reinstated.

(Source: MJ/Vatican News)

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