Two Vatican Bank directors step down

2 July 2013

Two senior officials at the Vatican Bank have resigned following the arrest of a senior Italian cleric over corruption and fraud allegations.

The bank's director Paolo Cipriani and its deputy director Massimo Tulli offered to step down on Monday (1 July), the Vatican confirmed.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was arrested three days previously and is suspected of trying to move €20 million ($26 million) illegally with two others.

The 61-year-old worked as a senior accountant for a Vatican department known as the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See for many years.

He has been under investigation by Italian police for suspicious transactions involving the recycling of a series of cheques described as church donations through the Vatican Bank.

In a statement, the Vatican said Ernst von Freyberg, the current president of the bank, would serve as its interim director.

Pope Francis has recently set up a commission of inquiry to look into the Vatican Bank and the allegations of money laundering.

By Tony Aynsley

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