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Vatican's suspicious transactions jump in 2013

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican has seen a spike in the number of suspicious financial transactions being reported as its troubled bank goes through its books to review accounts.

The Vatican's financial watchdog agency released its annual report Monday. The report showed that there were 202 suspicious transactions reported to the Financial Information Authority in 2013 compared with only six a year earlier and just one in 2011. Five of those 202 were referred onto Vatican prosecutors for possible investigation.

Authority Director Rene Bruelhart said the spike doesn't mean that more illicit activity is taking place. He said it just means that new laws and procedures are being implemented and are working to flag potentially problematic transactions that may require further investigation.

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