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Suspected Fraud Plot At Vatican Bank Foiled

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VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 29: Lights are on before the global event WWF Earth Hour 2014 at St. Peter's Basilica on March 29, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Lights went off in thousands of cities and towns across the world on for the annual Earth Hour campaign, aimed to take attentions on local environmental projects. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images) | Ernesto Ruscio via Getty Images

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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