Vatican official arrested in alleged plot to bring 20M euro into Italy on gov’t plane

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In this Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 file photo, a building, left, which hosts the Vatican bank, formerly known as the Institute for Religious Operas, IOR, inside the Vatican. A Vatican official has been arrested in a purported plot to bring 20 million euro into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane. Silverio Sica, attorney for Monsignor Nunzio Scarano said his client is accused of fraud, corruption and other charges stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground. Sica told The Associated Press that Scarano was a middleman in the operation: Friends had asked Scarano to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euro they had given him to invest. Sica said Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Mario Zito, went to Switzerland to bring it back aboard an Italian government aircraft. He said the plot failed because Carenzio reneged. Carenzio and Zito also were arrested. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)

VATICAN CITY —A Vatican official has been arrested in a purported plot to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane.

Silverio Sica, attorney for Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, said his client is accused of fraud, corruption and other charges stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground.

Sica told The Associated Press that Scarano was a middleman in the operation: Friends had asked Scarano to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euro they had given him to invest. Sica said Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Mario Zito, went to Switzerland to bring it back aboard an Italian government aircraft.

He said the plot failed because Carenzio reneged. Carenzio and Zito also were arrested.

Originally posted at 4:10 p.m.

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