Vatican financial watchdog boasts steady progress on reform

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican's financial watchdog says that after nearly 10 years of reforms, the Holy See has a "fully functioning" system of financial regulation and intelligence that is increasingly integrated into the global financial system.

In its annual report released Tuesday, the Financial Information Authority reported that it forwarded 11 suspicious transaction reports to Vatican prosecutors for further investigation, on top of the ongoing trial of a former Vatican bank chief on embezzlement charges.

It reported 473 cases of exchanges of information with foreign intelligence units, a sign of greater international cooperation in fighting money-laundering, terror financing, tax evasion and other financial crimes.

The authority's president, Rene Bruelhart, said the data showed that a "fully functioning system has been implemented and achieved," though he said changing global obligations required continued work.

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