Guys Busted Trying to Swindle Vatican Bank

Pair not exactly 'criminal masterminds,' says Vatican

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 30, 2014 10:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two men walked into the Vatican bank, and apparently a whole heap of trouble: The Vatican says police have detained an American and a Dutchman who showed up wearing business suits and carrying what the AP says is a whopping $4 trillion—in fake bonds. They reportedly told Swiss Guards outside the bank, which is quaintly called the Institute for Religious Works, that "the cardinals were expecting them," according to a police spokesman. As an IOR spokesman tells the Sydney Morning Herald, they "are neither clients of the bank, nor were they expected."

Cops issued citations to the pair, who were released on their own recognizance and are believed to have left the country. Police later seized stamps and seals that they say the men used to create the bonds. Says Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, "the controls are working. But I don't think we're talking about a plot by criminal masterminds if they managed to get caught at the first hurdle."

A picture taken Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 showing an exterior view of the offices of the Vatican bank IOR.
A picture taken Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 showing an exterior view of the offices of the Vatican bank IOR.   (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
A picture taken Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 and showing the building that hosts the Vatican bank, formerly known as the Institute for Religious Works, IOR.
A picture taken Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 and showing the building that hosts the Vatican bank, formerly known as the Institute for Religious Works, IOR.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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