A Vatican cleric, who is already under investigation in a money-laundering plot, was arrested on Friday for allegedly trying to sneak about $26 million in cash into Italy from Switzerland by private jet, a report said.
It was just the latest incident in a widening probe by the Italian police into the murky world of the Vatican bank.
Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, along with two others, was arrested by Italian police and accused of corruption and slander, according the the Associated Press. Scarano was an accountant in the Vatican's finance office until a recent suspension. The others involved are a financier and a member of the military police.
Nello Rossi, a prosecutor involved with the case, said the investigation was cracked open by wiretaps, which revealed that the three planned to bypass Italian customs and smuggle in millions of euros held by the financier in a Swiss bank account, the Associated Press said.
The plan was so carefully crafted that an armed police escort showed up at the airport to ferry the cash to Scarano's home in Rome, the AP said. The prosecutor described the arrests as just one part of a "mosaic" of investigations into the Vatican Bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works.
Scarano is also under investigation in another money-laundering investigation in which he is accused of taking about $730,000 earmarked for a home for the terminally ill and using the funds to pay for a home in Salerno.
This week, Pope Francis created a commission to investigate the Vatican Bank, which has long been the subject of speculation and scandal for the Catholic church.
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