Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, head of the Vatican Bank, is under investigation "over money-laundering", according to police sources.
A total of 23 millions euros ($30 millions) was seized from the bank's account with other small institutions by prosecutors.
The money-laundering inquiry was launched after Italy's tax police received tip off about two suspicious transactions, Seer Press reports.
Communications between the Institute for Works of Religion, or IOR, as the Vatican Bank is called, "always worked well" in the past, Gotti Tedeschi told Repubblica in an interview published today. "Relations with the Bank of Italy are good."
Italian police yesterday temporarily seized 23 million euros ($31 million) from an account registered to the IOR, as Rome prosecutors probe Gotti Tedeschi for violations of money- laundering laws.
The Holy See in a statement yesterday expressed "surprise" and "bewilderment" at the operation, and said it has "full confidence" in Gotti Tedeschi, according to Bloomberg.