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Police probe suspected fraud plot for Vatican bank

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ROME (AP) — Italian finance police say a suspected plot to swindle the Vatican bank was foiled after Vatican guards became suspicious of two foreigners who tried to enter the bank with a briefcase filled with false financial certificates.

The Finance Guard official leading the Italian probe was not available early Sunday for details. But the police operations center confirmed a report Saturday night by the Italian news agency ANSA that a Dutchman and a U.S. man were stopped after they tried to convince Vatican security officers they had business at the bank, which is not open to the general public. Police wouldn't say when the incident occurred. ANSA said the pair aimed to fraudulently obtain lines of credit.

A 2010 money-laundering probe by Rome prosecutors sparked tightened scrutiny at the scandal-dogged bank.

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