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Vatican police raid top offices, take documents

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VATICANCITY (Reuters) – Vatican police raided the offices of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State and its Financial Information Authority (AIF) on Tuesday and took away documents and electronic devices, a statement said.

The operation is highly unusual because the Secretariat of State is the nerve centre of the Vatican bureaucracy and diplomacy, and the AIF is the financial controller of all Vatican departments.

The Vatican statement gave no details except to say that the operation was a follow-up to complaints filed in the summer by the Vatican bank and the Office of the Auditor General and related to “financial operations carried out over the course of time”.

A senior Vatican source said he believed the operation, which the statement said had been authorised by Vatican prosecutors, had to do with real estate transactions.

The statement said superiors of the departments had been informed of the operation.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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