Who killed the "banker of God": the Vatican, the Mafia or a secret society?



In 1981, Italian banker Roberto Calvi woke up in the midst of a financial scandal that would lead to one of the most controversial undecided dead in history.

Having devalued a bank by diverting nearly 30 million dollars, Calvi fell into the net of corruption that he himself had profited.

Roberto Calvi had obscure connections with the Vatican, the Italian Mafia, as well as an illegal Masonic lodge, and all these twists and turns brought him to an end.

But who were responsible for the banker's death?

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Millions of dollars have "evaporated"

In 1978, the Italian Central Bank published a report on the activities of Italy's second-largest private bank, Banco Ambrosiano. Billions of pounds (about 27 million dollars) had been illegally transferred abroad.

The disclosure led to an investigation, which resulted in the conviction of President Banco Ambrosiano, Roberto Calvi (nicknamed "the banker of God") in 1981.

Following the trial, Roberto Calvi received four years of suspended custody and a fine of nearly $ 20 million for his role in transferring money outside of Italy.

The press has speculated that the banker attempted suicide at least once while in prison. Despite his imprisonment, Roberto Calvi managed to keep his position in the bank.

Finally, pending the appeal, the judges released him on bail. The members of Calvi's family claimed that the banker had not willingly done the things he was accused of.

They believed that other people had handled Calvi, while others claimed that the banker was completely innocent.

Involvement of the Holy See

The following year, Banco Ambrosiano collapsed. Two weeks before, Calvi sent a letter to Pope John Paul II.

The banker wrote to the pope that the collapse of the bank would have a great impact on the church and would prove a real financial catastrophe.

The letter also alluded to the fact that some Ambrosiano and Vatican officials were aware of what was really happening.

The Vatican was the majority shareholder of Ambrosiano Bank and, after the collapse of the bank, debts of $ 1.5 billion were discovered.

These included debt to the Mafia. In 1984, the Vatican Bank agreed to make payments to 120 of the 225 million dollars of Ambrosiano bank creditors.

But for lack of evidence, the Vatican Bank was not investigated.

Roberto Calvi runs to London

On June 10, 1982, five days after contacting the pope, Calvi disappeared from his apartment in Rome. Using a fake passport, he managed to flee to London with a stopover in Zurich.

A week after his absence was noticed, officials of the Bank of Italy dismissed him.

Roberto Calvi's private secretary, 55-year-old Graziella Corrocher, wrote a report condemning the damage to Calvi and his acolytes.

Shortly, mysteriously, Corrocher died. According to appearances, he had thrown himself from the fifth floor of the bank.

Investigators have determined that it was a suicide.

The mysterious death of Roberto Calvi

The following night, Roberto Calvi left his apartment in Chelsea, London, to eat. After finishing his dinner, he decided to take a stroll along the northern bank of the Thames.

What happened after that has been the subject of heated debate for over three decades.

Roberto Calvi was discovered in the early hours of June 18, hanging on Blackfriars Bridge, near London's financial center.

He had the equivalent of $ 15,000 in three different currencies. Also, some bricks were found in the banker's pockets.

The news of the corpse's discovery sent a shock wave across the city. It did not take long until the investigators identified Roberto Calvi's body.

The investigation lasted a little over a month. Officially, the cause of death was suicide.

But doubts about this conclusion occurred almost immediately. Roberto Calvi's family members did not accept the fact that he had taken his life and hired lawyer George Carman.

Following his inquiries, a more in-depth investigation has begun.

Private Investigation proposes new theories

In 1991, Calvi's family hired a private detective named Jeff Katz. He carried out a series of forensic tests on Calvi and the things he had with him at the time of his death.

Investigators found more bricks in the pockets of his suit and lingerie. But it seemed unlikely that Calvi's hands had touched the bricks. That meant that someone else had put them there.

Also, the wounds on the banker's neck were not the result of hanging. In addition, Roberto Calvi's shoes had no traces of rust or paint present on the bridge.

The conclusion of Katz's investigation: Calvi had been killed and the suicide had been staged.

According to the Tamisa level reports that night, the water level was large enough to allow a boat to get under the bridge at Calvi's death.

Those in the boat would have been able to reach the bridge sash easily. It seemed that the banker had been hung on the bridge after he had been killed.

Moreover, the team of investigators could not figure out how the banker could commit suicide in such a complicated way, without being seen by anyone.

The case reopens with new evidence

In 2002, a new forensic report formally established that it was murder. The London police reopened the case in September 2003.

And, as the investigation progressed, new things emerged. Before running away from Italy, the banker behaved as if he were afraid of his life.

Among the customers of Ambrosiano Bank is the Mafia. The Mafia used Calvi's bank to wash money, and Calvi had taken part in these crimes.

Some have said that Roberto Calvi himself has siphoned large sums of money or allowed that to happen. Calvi might also have been aware of corruption by powerful politicians and even the Vatican.

Moreover, Roberto Calvi had access to some secrets that had to remain hidden. The bank president had an influential position and could have been one of the dangerous people in Italy.

If all these rumors are true, there is a possibility that the banker was killed because he knew too much.

Links to the Mafia

Some argue that the banker had escorted the Mafia with $ 50 million. When the bank collapsed, the Mafia lost its money.

The Mafia may have blamed Roberto Calvi and decided to give an example by killing him. The Mafia may have watched him after leaving Italy.

The banker used a false passport to get to London. But the identity he used, Gian-Roberto Calvini, was not far from his true name.

In addition, after arriving in London, a local drug dealer, Sergio Vaccari, and a businessman in Sardinia, Flavio Carboni, served as helpers.

They both had ties to the Mafia. At that time, Vaccari lived in Kensington and considered himself a kind of playboy.

He was the owner of an antiques store he was leading with his girlfriend.

If the banker had been killed, Vaccari was a good candidate for the role of suspect. But, three months after Roberto Calvi's death, Vaccari was found home, killed with 15 knife shots.

Although Vaccines also had bricks in their pockets, the police did not make any connection between the two dead.

In his apartment, the police also found a document with a list of members of the Propaganda Due (P2) secret society.

Links to the P2 secret society

Roberto Calvi was a member of the P2 Masonic Lodge, which was illegal. The members of the group say their brothers, which means "black monks."

Thus, it seems a strange coincidence that the killers used the Blackfriars bridge ("black monks") to hang Roberto Calvi.

Another coincidence was the bricks in the pockets of Calvi and Vaccari - a possible warning of the Freemasons (the "masonry") of the P2.

The P2 network was linked to some of the most influential people in Italy.

Described often as a "state in the state," the Masonic Lodge consisted of politicians, judges, journalists, officers, businessmen and other members of the Italian society's elite.

Over the years, society had become clandestine and was led by Grand Master Licio Gelli, a fascist.

Last Investigation and Process

During the investigation, several Mafia captains testified about the involvement of the organization. More specifically, they provided information about who could have killed Roberto Calvi.

Finally, in 2003, prosecutors linked the Vatican, the Mafia and the lodge P2.

The Vatican had the most shares at Banco Ambrosiano. The Mafia was one of the key clients of the bank, even if it was a client with "special needs".

P2 was also a strong customer. Roberto Calvi deals with large amounts of Mafia money and P2.

The banker launches their money and finances their organizations through the bank. The Mafia and P2 leader, Licio Gelli, could have collaborated to shut his mouth and punish him for having lost their money with the collapse of the bank.

In 2005, five people were indicted for murdering Roberto Calvi. These were Francesco di Carlo and his ex-girlfriend, Manuela Kleinszig, businessman Ernesto Diotallevi, Mafia boss Giuseppe Calo, and Silviano Vittor, Calvi's bodyguard.

Licio Gelli has never been officially prosecuted. In 2007, the court acquitted all five for lack of evidence. Until now, no one has been convicted of the death of Roberto Calvi.

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