Vatican Official Arrested For Plot To Smuggle $26M In A Private Jet

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Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, Vatican Cleric, Arrested In Corruption Scandal

  • 06/28/2013 12:23 PM EDT World

Italian police arrested three people, including a prelate, or high-ranking Vatican clergyman, on corruption and fraud charges Friday. The arrests came as part of a larger investigation into the Vatican's highly secretive (and very wealthy) church, ordered by Pope Francis himself. 

Prosecutors say that a member of the Italian secret service and a broker, who were arrested along with the prelate, were plotting to help him bring $26 million into Italy from Switzerland in a private plane. The plot never came to fruition. 

Vatican officials say that Monsignor Scarano has been suspended from his job. The Vatican Bank, which technically operates under its own sovereign authority, has long been accused of corruption. It's said to have about $7 billion in assets.