Two men have been arrested in Italy after allegedly trying to deposit trillions of euros in fake bonds in the Vatican bank.
The American and a Dutch national were found with a briefcase containing bonds with a face value of €3 trillion ($4.1tr; £2.5tr).
Officials claimed they had an appointment with bank officials to gain entry and open a line of credit at the bank.
The bank runs the private accounts of cardinals, bishops and religious orders from all over the world.
Financial Guard police officer Davide Cardia told AP news that the two suspects were later released pending further investigation.
Pope Francis ordered a reform of the bank, having sacked two former directors who may face trial on money-laundering charges.
The bank, which is officially called the Institute for the Works of Religion, is no stranger to scandal and the Pope has invited outside experts to regulate what is seen by outsiders as a murky world.
- Vatican Protester Climbs St Peter's to Unfurl Anti-Italy Banner
- Pope Francis Confesses Sins to Ordinary Priest at St Peter's Basilica
- Sacked Vatican Bank Head's Lawyers Threaten Lawsuit Over 'Unfair' Dismissal
- Vatican Monsignor 500 Re-Arrested for Laundering Money
- Europe 'Massively Satisfied' with Vatican's Financial Reforms on Murky Past