Money-laundering probe includes 4 Argentinean nuns suspected of helping ex-minister hide $9m cash and jewels

By @vitthernandez on
Laundered Money
Packets of U.S. American dollars notes in plastic bags in the trunk of a car are seen in this handout picture in Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 14, 2016. A top public works official in Argentina's previous government was arrested on Tuesday while throwing bags of cash over the walls of a Catholic monastery intensifying questions about possible past corruption. Reuters/Argentine Ministry of Security/Handout

Not all nuns are solely into prayers and works of charity. Some are into growing cannabis and others into the laundry business – that is money laundering.

Four nuns from the Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima west of Buenos Aires are included in the money-laundering investigation being conducted by the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina. The sisters allegedly help former Public Works Minister Jose Lopez hide almost US$9 million (A$12 million) in cash and jewels, reports BBC.

Lopez was in the cabinet of former Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner who is also facing separate money-laundering investigation. The church’s probe is on top of a government probe on the former minister.

In June, Lopez was arrested outside the convent after nuns saw him throw plastic bags of money over a wall. However, two other nuns were seen on CCTV footage allegedly helping Lopez with the bags of money into the convent. One of the nuns is due to appear before Judge Daniel Rafecas on Aug 1.

Besides the nun, the neighbour of the convent who called the police when he saw the former government official throw bags into the monastery is also expected to testify. Rafecas, who led an inspection of the convent on Wednesday, says seized documents indicate more than 10 years of a relationship between the convent and Lopez.

Reverend Tom O’Donnell, leader of the church investigation, says they would attempt to determine if he four nuns committed a canonical crime, reports ABC.

VIDEO: Money Laundering Explained 

Source: Global Financial Integrity