Mgr Nunzio Scarano was already suspended from his duties because of an earlier investigation

A priest who works as an accountant at the Vatican has been arrested by police for trying to bring €20 million (£17 million) into Italy from Switzerland illegally.

Mgr Nunzio Scarano, who works at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, was arrested alongside a member of the Italian secret services and a financial broker.

The priest was already being investigated by police in his hometown of Salerno, southern Italy, for a series of suspicious transactions involving his account in the Vatican bank.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said Mgr Scarano had been suspended from his duties at the Vatican “for over a month, as soon as his superiors were informed that he was under investigation”.

The Holy See, he said, has promised to co-operate with the investigation but has not yet received any request to do so.