A Red Notice is a request to international law enforcement to locate and arrest a wanted person. The arrest is done pending their extradition, surrender, or facing similar laws. Conversely, Red Notices are published by INTERPOL as requested by any member country. They must conform to INTERPOL’s constitution and regulations.
It is important to note that Red Notices are not international arrest warrants.
Purpose of Red Notice
An Interpol Red Notice is an international alert, issued at the request of member countries, to locate and arrest individuals for extradition or criminal prosecution. It facilitates rapid communication and collaboration among national law enforcement agencies.
What does a Red Notice Entail?
The two main types of information in it include:
- Identification details of the wanted person, including name, date of birth, hair color, nationality, photographs, and fingerprints (if available).
- The crime for which they are wanted, such as money laundering, murder, rape, etc.
Who Qualifies to be on a Red Notice List?
Red Notices are issued for individuals wanted for trial or to serve a sentence, based on judicial proceedings from the country where the crime was committed, not necessarily their country of origin. It’s crucial to remember that individuals wanted for trial are presumed innocent until proven guilty, while those wanted to serve a sentence have already been convicted.
Are there offenses that Red Notice may not be Issued?
INTERPOL’s Article 83 on the rules on Processing of Data sets out precise conditions that guide the publication of Red Notices. However, the following offenses do not warrant a Red Notice publication:
- Crimes that various countries raise controversies relating to cultural or behavioral norms
- Crimes that relate to family or private matters
- Crimes originating from violations of laws of an administrative nature. An exemption is if these criminal activities contribute to a serious crime or are suspected to be connected to organized crime.
What Happens Before Publishing a Red Notice?
A specialized task force reviews each Red Notice for compliance with INTERPOL’s rules and regulations. After issuance, any new information prompts the General Secretariat to reexamine the case.
Does INTERPOL Arrest Individuals in a Red Notice?
No, these persons are wanted by the issuing country or an international tribunal. INTERPOL doesn’t compel international law enforcement to make arrests. Each member country decides on the legal value they place on the Red Notice alerts and abide by it.
Is it Possible to Know If you are on the Red Notice?
Most people only find out they are subject to an arrest when crossing borders. However, if you suspect your name is on the list, it is important to contact INTERPOL to remove it. Some names are made public as seen on their website, but more information on wanted persons is available on request. In addition, you can contact the Commission of Control of INTERPOL’s Files, which is treated confidentially.
INTERPOL’s Red Notice alerts member countries’ police about internationally wanted fugitives, facilitating their capture and justice, sometimes years after the crime.