Everything You Need to Know About Interpol Notices

Interpol is an international police organisation. Almost every country is a member. Every member country has officers assigned to an Interpol division. Interpol’s objective is to help police forces around the world to solve crimes with an international element.

Interpol Notice Types

Most people have heard of an Interpol Red Notice. But there are other types of Interpol notices too.

Interpol Red NoticeTo find a wanted person and have them arrested with a view to extradition.
Interpol Yellow NoticeA yellow notice is used to locate missing persons.
Interpol Blue NoticeThis is for locating persons of interest and gathering information on them.
Interpol Green NoticeTo alert other police forces about a dangerous suspect.
Interpol Orange NoticeTo warn of an event or suspect posing an immediate threat to safety.
Interpol Black NoticeSeeking information on unidentified bodies.
Interpol Purple NoticeTo gather intelligence on the modus operandi of criminal organisations
Interpol UN Special NoticeTo inform Interpol members that a person or entity is subject to UN sanctions.

How are Interpol Red Notices Issued?

Every Interpol member has a National Central Bureau (NCB) that liaises with Interpol. If the police suspect that a suspect is not in their jurisdiction, they will request that their NCB have Interpol issue a red notice. The notice will be placed on Interpol’s central database. This is the Interpol wanted list. Extracts of notices may also be published on Interpol’s public website.

The Red Notice will include information such as passport number and details to identify the suspect. This can include fingerprints, height, eye colour and so on.

Are all Interpol Red Notices Published?

It’s important to be aware that not all Interpol Red Notices appear on the public website which you can see here. Often police forces will not want a suspect to be aware that they are subject to an Interpol Red Notice. The police want suspects to be arrested when they’re travelling. They may choose not to travel or interact with authorities overseas if they know that they’re subject to a red notice.

What is a Diffusion?

A diffusion is like a red notice. The main difference is that it’s sent directly to a specific country. This is used when police in one country know which country their suspect is located in. The effects of a diffusion are the same as a red notice. The police in the country where the suspect is located will arrest him and hold him pending an extradition request.

What are the Consequences of an Interpol Red Notice?

interpol red notice
Travel can be risky for anyone with a red notice outstanding

An Interpol Red Notice will cause significant problems for any individual subject to one. Anyone subject to a Red Notice will be at risk of arrest at any time. The threat of arrest is heightened when travelling. Many border agents (though not in every country) are instructed to apprehend anyone with a red notice. An Interpol Red Notice can also result in financial accounts being closed. It can cause huge reputational harm.

How Long do Interpol Red Notices Last For?

They last for 5 years or can be withdrawn by the issuing state. They can be extended after 5 years if the suspect hasn’t been apprehended.

Find Out if You’re Subject to an Interpol Red Notice

It can be difficult to find out if you’re the subject of an Interpol Red Notice or Diffusion. You can, of course, look at the public website but just because you’re not on there doesn’t mean the Red Notice doesn’t exist. Diffusions are never published on Interpol’s website.

If you suspect that you may be the subject of an Interpol Red Notice or Diffusion you can get in touch with The Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF). The CCF are there to ensure that the data held by Interpol is handled according to the rules. They are independent of Interpol. An individual can contact them and ask for access to their Interpol file. The CCF will contact the police in the country that issued the notice before releasing your file.

Interpol Red Notices Can be Removed

It is possible to have Interpol Red Notices Removed. If you want to challenge a Red Notice and have it removed you may be able to do so for any of the reasons below:

How to remove Interpol red notice:

The offence is of a political nature. This is contrary to Interpol’s constitution.

The offence is of a religious nature.

It is a military offence.

The offence is racial in nature.

It goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Interpol are obliged to act within th spirit of this declaration.

The rules for the processing of data have not been complied with.

The offence is punishable by less than 2 years imprisonment

It can’t be for an offence of an administrative nature, such as a private financial dispute

Getting a Red Notice removed is complex but possible. You’ll have to share a lot of information with CCF about yourself and the nature of the offence. You will have to use Interpol’s complex rules against it. Because the rules are so complex it’s highly likely that the bureaucrats in the police force making the request don’t understand them. If the offence is remotely political or administrative in nature you stand a good chance of getting it removed.


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