Case of the Smuggling Monsignor Gets DeeperBy: Mike Tuttle - July 20, 2013
The story of the Vatican official who was arrested for attempting to smuggle money has gotten even more cloak-and-dagger.
The official, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, 61, worked as a senior accountant in the Vatican’s financial administration. He is accused of colluding with others, including an Italian secret service agent Giovanni Zito and broker Giovanni Carenzio. The conspirators in the case were trying to smuggle the cash out of Switzerland and into Italy in a private plane. The cash never left the country due to suspicions and disagreements among the conspirators. But one of them insisted on being paid for his part in the plot anyway. He was written two checks by the Monsignor, one of which Scarano then reported stolen.
EuroNews is now reporting that a 48-page judicial document that includes transcripts or summaries of wiretaps, emails, letters and cheques passed on to investigators by police, contains several shadowy details of the whole affair.
It turns out that the conspirators had code words for what they were doing. A “book”, for example, was code for “one million euros cash”. False identity documents were called “bookmarks”. They also used the term “encyclopedia”.
Here is an example of an exchange obtained by police.
“I think the more books you can bring the better it is,” Scarano tells secret agent Zito
Scarano: “Can you bring 20-25 books?”
Zito: “Those for sure.”
Scarano: “That is already a good goal, you understand, because it will allow us to do many things for ourselves.”
Scarano also assured his broker partner that his Secret Service agent partner had everything in order for him.
“The customs people will clear us on the plane for me. They won’t do anything to me. They’ll see my (official) passport and they’ll say ‘good day, sir, goodbye, everything is in order’”.
The whole investigation started when Scarano called police to his home in Salerno to investigate a burglary. When they arrived they were shocked to find him living in luxury, with lots of valuable artwork in his home.