Vatican's secretariat of state searched in financial probe

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Vatican police have seized documents and electronics during a search of the Holy See's secretariat of state and financial watchdog agency after receiving official complaints about "past financial operations."

The Vatican press office didn't provide details about the search and seizures on Tuesday or the nature of the complaints that sparked them.

The office says the complaints "concerning past financial operations." arrived over the summer from the Vatican bank and auditor general's office. It said the chief prosecutor at the Vatican's criminal tribunal authorized the seizures.

For nearly a decade the Vatican has been trying to clean up its financial act by adhering to international anti-money laundering norms and reforming its bank, the Institute of Religious Works.

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The Holy See is due for an on-site visit by Council of Europe evaluators in the spring.

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