Pope Francis presents a cake to ally Cardinal BecciuThe Vatican is investigating how $200m in Swiss bank accounts controlled by its central administrator ended up financing a luxury property development in London that generated large profits for a company that managed the investment. According to an article in the highly reputable Financial Times, in addition to forking out £168 million for the equity, the Vatican has also taken over £100 million of debt.

The project to construct 49 luxury apartments at 60 Sloane Avenue has become the focus of an investigation by Vatican police into the financial activities of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, the custodian of millions of dollars in charity given by Catholics around the world, according to multiple people familiar with the probe.

The Vatican became involved in the Chelsea project in 2014 when $200m held in Swiss bank accounts controlled by the Secretariat of State was transferred to a Luxembourg investment fund called Athena Capital.

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