ROME — Italian police say two men toting a briefcase stuffed with false bond certificates with a purported worth of trillions of dollars tried to bluff their way into the Vatican’s exclusive bank in a foiled fraud plot.
Financial Guard police Lt. Col. Davide Cardia said the would-be swindlers tried to convince Swiss Guards and other security personnel at a Vatican City gate a week ago that “cardinals were expecting them.”
Cardia told The Associated Press by telephone today that the men, a middle-aged Dutchman and a U.S. citizen, were detained after checks by Vatican officials found they had no such appointments at the bank, which isn’t open to the public.
A 2010 money-laundering probe by Rome prosecutors sparked tougher scrutiny at the bank.
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