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VOL. 43 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 22, 2019

Pope taps former Bank of Italy exec to head watchdog agency

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has tapped a former Bank of Italy executive to take over the Vatican's financial intelligence unit following a scandal that resulted in the Vatican being suspended from an international anti-money laundering network.

Carmelo Barbagallo has been head of the Italian central bank's vigilance unit since 2014.

He replaces Rene Bruelhart, who was removed following an Oct. 1 raid on AIF headquarters as part of a corruption investigation by Vatican prosecutors into a London real estate venture. Following the raid, the Egmont Group of some 160 financial intelligence units suspended the Vatican from its secure communications network because the Vatican could no longer ensure its data would be kept secure, as required.

Barbagallo is the second high-profile Italian to be hired for a sensitive Vatican job in recent months.

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