How do I know if I am wanted by Interpol?

How one can be aware of whether he or she is wanted by Interpol? Unfortunately, most people are usually unaware that their data is being processed by INTERPOL and only find out about it when crossing borders or when they are already arrested.

You can check INTERPOL’s website in the ‘wanted persons’ section. The mentioned page contains a list of individuals facing Interpol’s Red Notice, with a broad indication of the charges, as well as the requesting country. Here you can search by your name in the database.

Verify your Interpol Wanted Status!

Interpol wanter list

However, the mentioned database is not comprehensive and contains only about 30% of all the data which is actually being processed by Interpol. Therefore, if you have reason to believe that you could be on Interpol’s wanted list, you better hire a qualified extradition lawyer who can apply to INTERPOL on your behalf to access the INTERPOL’s files.

Interpol’s Wanted List: An Overview

Interpol’s Wanted List: An Overview

Interpol, the international criminal police organization, employs a system known as the ‘Wanted List’ to track and locate individuals implicated in criminal activities worldwide. This list, containing individuals facing Interpol’s Red Notices, aids in international cooperation, promoting a safer global community. This section will provide a brief overview of Interpol’s Wanted List, how it operates, and its importance in international law enforcement.

Mechanism of Interpol’s Wanted List

Interpol’s primary tool to locate and arrest wanted persons is through issuing ‘Notices’ and ‘Diffusions’. The various types of notices – Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Black, Purple, and Orange – each serve a distinct purpose ranging from seeking arrest, acquiring additional information, or warning about potential threats. Additionally, ‘Diffusions’ or circular alerts provide a more immediate, albeit restricted, method of seeking international cooperation for the detention or extradition of an individual. This section will delve deeper into the workings of these instruments.

Accessing Interpol’s Wanted List

Not knowing your status on Interpol’s Wanted List can lead to severe implications such as unexpected arrests or issues while crossing borders. Interpol’s website has a ‘wanted persons’ section where one can check their status. However, this only contains about 30% of all the data processed by Interpol, so employing a qualified extradition lawyer is advisable if there is reason to suspect one could be on Interpol’s Wanted List.

Consequences of Being on Interpol’s Wanted List

Being on Interpol’s Wanted List means facing potential arrest and extradition to face charges in the country requesting the notice. The severity of the implications varies according to the notice issued. This section will provide a detailed analysis of the various consequences that one might face if listed on Interpol’s Wanted List.

Removing Information from Interpol’s Wanted List

Under specific grounds, it is possible to request the removal of information from Interpol’s Wanted List. This process, although potentially complex, is crucial for individuals who believe they have been wrongfully placed on the list. In this section, we’ll provide an understanding of how to request the removal of one’s information from the list.

What instruments does INTERPOL use to locate and arrest wanted persons? What is the “wanted list” of the Interpol?

Interpol uses two basic instruments to locate and arrest wanted persons. These legal tools are:

1. Notices

INTERPOL Notices are international requests for cooperation or alerts allowing police in member countries to share critical crime-related information.

There are different types of notices, namely:

  • Red notice – has the purpose to seek the location and arrest of a person wanted by the law enforcement authorities in the requesting country with the aim of her extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. It is based on an arrest warrant or court order issued by the judicial authorities in the requesting country. Member countries apply their own laws in deciding whether to arrest a person. An Interpol red notice removal can be requested by Interpol lawyers.
  • Blue notice – has the purpose to locate, identify and acquire any additional information about a person of interest to a criminal investigation.
  • Green notice – has the purpose to warn about a person’s criminal activities, particularly if the person is considered to be a possible threat to public safety.
  • Yellow notice – has the purpose to locate missing persons.
  • Black notice – has the purpose to seek information on unidentified bodies.
  • Purple notice – has the purpose to provide information regarding criminal activities such as hideouts, crime concealment methods, use of special criminal tools and devices, and modus operandi of crimes committed.
  • Orange notice – has the purpose to warn of an event, a person, an object, or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.

The cooperation requests are published in the forms listed above via the Interpol Information System which is accessible by all INTERPOL member states.

2. Diffusions

They are also called circular alerts or Interpol Diffusions that request international cooperation, particularly detention, arrest, and extradition of the person concerned. Circular alerts are more dangerous. Though registered in the INTERPOL’s information system, they are only available (visible) to a limited number of Interpol member countries. Diffusions are circulated directly by a member country’s National Central Bureau to all or some other member countries.

Detention and arrest in a foreign country due to being on the Interpol wanted list is an unpleasant procedure with complex ramifications. It is not only very stressful but also embarrassing when traveling with others. Therefore, to avoid the implications related to unexpected arrest, you better find out if you are on the Interpol wanted list in advance.

Useful articlces on issues with Interpol:

Lawyer Kendall Coffey
Kendall Coffey
Senior Partner
Mr. Coffey is a former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Florida (1993-1996); and served as Chair of, the Southern District Conference, Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission (April 2009 – January 2017).

FAQ: How do I know if I am wanted by Interpol?

What happens if you are on the Interpol wanted list when crossing borders?
Most people become aware of being on a wanted list only when crossing borders. If a person is identified as being wanted by Interpol, the law enforcement agencies of the requesting country are informed and the following scenarios may take place;
  • Detention of the person concerned by the local authorities with a further release on bond;
  • Detention, arrest of the person concerned and her being jailed pending further court proceedings;
  • Bringing the person concerned to court to resolve if he or she have to be arrested;
  • Ordering the person concerned back onto the plane and back to the departure countries;
  • Brief questioning of the person concerned;
  • Actual extradition of the person concerned to the requesting country.
Is it possible to delete information from INTERPOL's Wanted List?
Yes, this is possible if the grounds for deleting are established. First, INTERPOL must be contacted and the request officially made. If the request is approved, the information is deleted, and confirmation is provided. The individual is also informed of any further actions based on the results of the consideration of the request made. Learn more about INTERPOL red notice removal.
What happens if you are on the Interpol wanted list when crossing borders?
If you are on the Interpol Wanted List and you attempt to cross borders, you are likely to be detained and arrested. The country that you are entering is likely to have received the notice or alert from Interpol, and it has the discretion to act on that information. You may be extradited to the country that requested the notice, or held until further information is gathered.
How can I check if my name is on Interpol's Wanted List?
You can check the 'Wanted Persons' section on Interpol's official website. This public database contains a list of individuals subject to Interpol's Red Notices. However, this database is not comprehensive and contains only a fraction of all the data being processed by Interpol. If you have reason to believe you might be on Interpol's Wanted List, it's recommended to hire a qualified lawyer who can officially request access to Interpol's files on your behalf.
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