13-September-2012 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Vatican Hires Swiss Finance Lawyer as Consultant

Holy See Following Recommendations of Moneyval Report

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 12, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In the wake of a July evaluation of the Vatican's commitment to financial transparency, the Holy See has taken another step toward complying with international standards.

The Holy See is continuing to respond to the Moneyval report recommendations and pursuing measures that provide greater transparency and financial trustworthiness. The measures are meant to effectively fight against money laundering.

Moneyval is a council responsible for evaluating European member States with respect to anti-money laundering systems.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said that "one powerful sign of commitment to work in this direction is that the Holy See has hired an international expert in Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) activities."

The new consultant is Rene Bruelhart, a Swiss anti-money laundering lawyer who spent eight years as the director of Liechtenstein's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and is an expert in AML/CFT. As director of Liechtenstein's FIU, he was also appointed in 2010 as the vice-chair of the Egmont Group, the global network of FIUs.

Bruelhart began work this month as a consultant to the Holy See in all matters related to AML/CFT. His role is to assist the Holy See in strengthening its framework to fight financial crimes.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Vatican said that such action would improve the Holy See's efforts in complying with the Moneyval report's recommendations. "This is based on the clear commitment the Holy See has already expressed in its active efforts to address these matters effectively," the statement read.

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