Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Temple Gold: Vatican Bank and Cayman Islands

CAYMAN ISLANDS – The IOR is built on secrecy. It keeps secret accounts, does no audits and claims to destroy records after ten years.

It offers secret accounts to many who “have had problems with the law,” said one of its past presidents. There are no cheque books. Everything is done by transfer, by cash or in gold bullion, so as to be untraceable. This is perfect for money-laundering.  The Vatican Bank has quietly established itself in the offshore financial centre of the Cayman Islands.

The Vatican Bank escapes scrutiny from Italy. In addition, it has an impenetrable organisation, with three separate boards of directors. And it boasts another curious feature: it is said to be “never audited”, hence funds deposited there may simply vanish without a trace.  The Vatican Bank even maintains that it adopts the remarkable practice of destroying all of its records every ten years.

On the one hand, it has used its “less than clear” relationship to the Vatican State to claim “sovereign immunity”.  This connection with the Vatican State has enabled it to avoid having to answer charges in a US court that after WWII it helped hide and launder millions of dollars of concentration camp loot.  And it continues ― when convenient ― to assert its immunity from scrutiny as an organ of the Vatican State. Thus in September 2010 a Vatican spokesman claimed that “The IOR is located within the territory of Vatican City State, beyond the jurisdiction and surveillance of various national banks”.

And, in addition, this “off-shore” tax haven appears to have its own “off-shore” havens. Curious is the location of two of the Church’s “independent missions”. These are missions too small to be set up as apostolic prefectures, yet which are still given autonomy, and thus are not part of any diocese. There are nine “independent missions” worldwide, most of them in remote areas with a sparse Catholic population, like Azerbaijan and Tajikistan.  However, two of them have been hived off from pre-existing dioceses. These are the Cayman Islands and the Turk and Caicos Islands, both of them offshore financial centres.  (more...)


A long tradition of dark dealings:

 The Vatican Empire

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