The Pope was being interviewed by police last night after the Vatican admitted that they made the whole thing up.
The scam, perpetrated by a string of top religious leaders, is believed to have netted the church billions of pounds from gullible Christians.
A police spokesman said last night, "We are holding a man in custody and he is helping us with our enquires. It is early days yet but we believe that we will soon have enough evidence to charge him."
The swindle was brilliantly simple, the hapless victims were told that, in return for money or 'a donation', they would go to a place called heaven when they died.
"This was a particularly cruel hoax which played upon peoples' fear of the unknown," said Chief Inspector Snodgrass who is leading the investigation. "These men targeted the old and infirm by setting up a series of churches and pretending that they knew what happened after death. Of course, it sounds incredible that people could believe such nonsense, but there you go."
As the investigation continued there were fears that the criminal gangs money making schemes could extend to 'bring and buy sales', 'tombolas' and 'fetes'.
"These people were living in total luxury paid for by people who, ironically, were told that money was evil and would prevent them entering the kingdom of Heaven. It beggars belief, it really does." said one angry Christian yesterday.