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The Roman Catholic Church in Argentina has launched an investigation into whether four nuns helped to conceal a hoard of cash and jewels alleged brought to their convent by a former government official.
Last month, José López, above centre –  a former junior minister – was arrested after being spotted with the nuns – aged in their 80s and 90s – at Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima religious community, about 55km (35 miles) west of the capital Buenos Aires …. together with a collection of bags containing cash and valuables with an estimated worth of $8.9-million.
López at first claimed to be a church official, and then allegedly offered the police officers a bag containing $1m. He was arrested on suspicion of illegal possession of a firearm after the officers found a semi-automatic rifle in his car.
The media in Argentina showed CCTV footage allegedly showing López bringing the bags with wads of cash in several currencies and jewels into the convent, helped by two nuns.
A total of four nuns are said to have assisted him. One of them is due to appear next month before a judge.
López was the Public Works Minister in the former government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
The case took a fresh turn this week when the BBC reported that The Roman Catholic Church had launched an investigation into the role played by the nuns.
The probe leader, Reverend Tom O’Donnell, said they would:

Try to determine if there was a canonical crime.

One of the nuns is due to appear next month before a judge.
Since Argentina’s new President, Mauricio Macri took over earlier this year, there have been a series of investigations of former officials for money-laundering.
Back in 2011, a group of Spanish nuns faced an investigation after they reported that they had been robbed of 1.5-million euros. The authorities were puzzled over how the nuns managed to accumulate so much dosh.
Hat tip: Trevor Blake

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