Vatican police have raided the department in charge of maintenance and restoration at St Peter’s Basilica, seizing documents and computers for an investigation into suspected corruption.
Tuesday’s raid was similar to one last October that involved another investigation into a separate department over the purchase of a building in London.
A statement from the Vatican press office said the material was seized from the technical and administrative offices of the Fabbrica di San Pietro.
Vatican magistrates ordered the raid following a tip from the office of the general auditor, the statement said, without giving details.
The statement said Pope Francis appointed a commissioner to run the department temporarily.
The commissioner was tasked with reorganising the department and updating its statutes in the wake of a June 1 papal document that introduced sweeping new rules for procurement and spending to reduce the risk of corruption in awarding contracts.
The statement specifically mentioned the new rules, which suggested Tuesday’s raid may have something to do with the awarding of a contract.
The department is currently overseeing the restoration of the basilica’s dome, which recently has been partly covered by scaffolding.