VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A review of money transfers from the Vatican to Australia showed that the amount sent between 2014 and 2020 was a fraction of the 2.3 billion Australian dollars ($ 1.77 billion) originally reported, to widespread amazement, by Australia’s financial regulator, the Vatican said on Wednesday. The joint review by the Vatican and Australia showed that they only transited A $ 9.5 million ($ 7.35 million). The Vatican challenged the huge figures in December and asked Australia’s financial intelligence unit, known as AUSTRAC, to review its calculations. The AUSTRAC bug was first reported by the Australian newspaper earlier on Wednesday, which said it was due to a computer coding error. A statement by the Vatican called the error “a major discrepancy” and that the AU $ 9.5 million sent to Australia was primarily to fulfill “contractual obligations” as well as “ordinary management”, which appeared to be a reference to your embassy in Australia. The original report of the huge amount of money and more than 47,000 individual transfers stunned the Vatican, which demanded a review. The Australian said that AUSTRAC had told the newspaper that the new calculations showed that there had only been 362 transfers in that period. Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane told Reuters last month that the Australian Church was not aware of such transfers, that the money did not go to a diocese or Church entity in the country and that the bishops asked the Vatican for clarification and AUSTRAC. ($ 1 = 1.2923 Australian dollars)
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