A woman from Italy linked to a disgraced cardinal who was sacked by Pope Francis has been arrested in Milan, as she has been accused of using the charity money of the pope for buying expensive leather furniture, Prada shoes, handbags, and Chanel perfume.
Cecilia Morogana, who calls herself an 'intelligence expert' even though she does not have any degree got detained on an Interpol warrant by the Vatican investigators on suspicion of aiding the Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was sacked earlier this month, steal hundreds of thousands of euro from the charitable arm of Vatican. The Italian media have suggested that she is probably the secret lover of the cardinal, which she denied.
Woman Uses Pope's Money to Buy Prada Shoes
The woman is awaiting an extradition order to the Vatican, which is the only time the Holy See judiciary has ever attempted to extradite a person for facing criminal trial. The woman told Corriere Della Sera that she is an analyst and an esteemed intelligence expert and not the cardinal's lover, as per reports.
She admitted receiving around €500,000 for a period of four years from the cardinal, which she claims was used for 'humanitarian services' for setting up 'parallel diplomacy' arm for protecting the embassies of the Vatican in the Middle East and Africa from terrorist attacks.
However, a leaked dossier obtained by the press of Italy alleged that she used the cash for herself including €12,000 for a luxurious leather armchair, €2,200 for buying Prada shoes and handbags, €1,400 for purchasing Tod's shoes, and also €8,000 on Chanel perfume. The cardinal and another prelate are under investigation for allegedly funneling money through a Slovenian company, though the dossier shows that Morogana did not issue invoices for any of the money she got.
She accepted that she bought personal items but suggested that one of the expensive designer handbags was for the wife of a Nigerian friend who had to help her to get in touch with the president of Burkina Faso for facilitating the solution of a crisis.
She also said that she used some money for securing the release it hostages on the behalf f the pope. When her name got linked to Becciu following his arrest she mentioned that she was a 'package bomb' and a "sacrificial victim of the clash between the factions opposed to the pope," as reported by the Daily Beast.