George Pell Vatican church
Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRAC, the regulator given the job of cracking down on money laundering and terrorism financing, has been caught with its pants down after revelations it had dramatically overestimated the value of payments made from the Vatican City to Australia.

In response to a question at Senate estimates last year, the regulator initially said $2.3 billion had been transferred from the Vatican to Australia over the past seven years. But today it issued a mea culpa. The real figure was just $9.5 million.

The previous sum managed to throw fuel on the fire of a bunch of conspiracy theories surrounding Cardinal George Pell’s quashed conviction for child sex abuse. With the diminished figure, now what?