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Vatican official arrested in extortion plot

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VATICAN CITY (KNOE 8 News/AP) - A Vatican official has been arrested in an alleged plot to bring the equivalent of $26 million into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane.

The attorney for Monsignor Nunzio Scarano says his client is accused of fraud, corruption and other charges stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground.

Lawyer Silverio Sica tells the Associated Press that Scarano was a middleman in the operation: Friends had asked Scarano to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euro they had given him to invest. Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Mario Zito, went to Switzerland to bring it back aboard an Italian government aircraft.

The lawyer says the plot failed because Carenzio reneged. Carenzio and Zito also were arrested.

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