Interpol red notice

Interpol Red Notice

An Interpol Red Notice refers to the red alert Interpol issued by Interpol’s General Secretariat following a request from a member country. The requesting country could be seeking assistance to locate, arrest or extradite an individual scheduled to face a criminal investigation or charges.

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Interpol red notice

INTERPOL Red Notices are the most common type of INTERPOL Notices in the INTERPOL Information System. At the same time, this type of notice has the strictest admissibility criteria. However, in spite of all legal restrictions to prevent misuse of INTERPOL Red Notices, every year the lawyers of Interpol Law Firm – Collegium of International lawyers are confronted with a large number of Red Notices that violate the rules and standards of INTERPOL.

Based on last year’s reports of the INTERPOL File Control Commission for 2021 and 2022, almost half of the challenged Red Notices were found not to comply with INTERPOL rules and standards. This indicates a major problem with the abuse of the INTERPOL Red Notice system. Therefore, in order to understand the complex mechanisms of INTERPOL and assess the chances of removing a Red Notice, it is necessary to contact experienced lawyers who will prepare a detailed legal strategy and assess your chances of removing data from the INTERPOL information system.

What is Interpol Red Notice?

What is an Interpol Red Notice, you may ask? According to INTERPOL’s Rules on the Processing of Data, the objective of a Red Notice is to “seek the location and provisionally arrest wanted persons pending extradition or comparable legitimate action” by law enforcement worldwide. This international alert is based on a court order or an arrest warrant given by the law enforcement authorities of the requesting country.

While a Red Notice is frequently referred to as an “international arrest warrant“, that’s far from the truth. According to INTERPOL’s regulations, a Red Notice “is not an international arrest order.” This Notice, on the other hand, “merely informs any Interpol member country that the individual is sought based on an arrest warrant or comparable court judgment in the country issuing the request or an international tribunal.”

Red Notices must adhere to strict guidelines outlined in INTERPOL’s constitution. They must include significant ordinary-law offenses that are not related to violations of an administrative nature, behavioral or cultural standards, family/private affairs, or private disputes that aren’t serious or unrelated to organized crime, and they must reach a sentence threshold.

Essentially, a Red Notice, or “Red Corner Notice,” is a request by Interpol to its member nations to locate a suspect or convict and facilitate their surrender to the requesting state, often via extradition. These notices are published at the request of the National Central Bureau of a member country, but their legal weight varies by jurisdiction, and not all accept it as grounds for arrest.

However, its practical effect is significant: international travel becomes risky, leading to potential detainment and notification of the requesting state, often followed by an extradition request. Publicly listed Red Notices can also damage reputations and lead to bank account closures. However, a red notice or diffusion can’t be entered into Interpol’s database if it’s of military, religious, or racial character.

The Global Impact of Interpol Red Notices

Red Notices serve as powerful tools for tracking a suspect or convicted person for criminal activities across borders. They enable law enforcement agencies in member countries to be alerted about individuals wanted for serious crimes, ranging from terrorism and human trafficking to drug trafficking and financial fraud. Red Notices facilitate swift identification and apprehension by disseminating information about a wanted person pending extradition, including photographs and fingerprints.

Interpol’s Red Notices intersect significantly with international law, particularly in matters of extradition. While they are not international arrest warrants, Red Notices carry significant weight and can lead to the provisional arrest and detention of individuals pending extradition proceedings. This enhances the ability of countries to prosecute a transnational crime effectively.

The use of Red Notices also raises legal and ethical concerns. There have been instances where Red Notices were allegedly used for political, military, religious, and malicious purposes, targeting dissidents and political opponents rather than legitimate criminal suspects. This misuse undermines the credibility of the system and poses challenges to people’s universal declaration rights. Consequently, there is ongoing debate and scrutiny over the procedures and safeguards in place for compliance with Interpol’s rules on universal rights to prevent abuse.

Interpol Red Notices by Country And Crimes

Country / Crimes Terrorism Drug Trafficking Financial Crimes Organized Crime Human Trafficking Corruption Money Laundering Financial Fraud
United States
United Kingdom
South Korea
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates

The Validity of Interpol Red Notices

The standard validity of Red Notice requests is five years. However, this period may vary depending on specific circumstances. For instance, a Red Notice can be withdrawn earlier following a request of the member state who asked for its issuance or following a Red Notice removal decision of the General Secretariat.

The validity of a Red Notice can also be extended for specific reasons. For example, the General Secretariat can extend its expiry period if the wanted person is not arrested yet.

Red Notices can persist for months or years, even after charges are dropped or the individual is arrested, if the requesting member state fails to ask Interpol for their removal. Specialists from Interpol’s red notice investigation law firms can explain how Red Notices function and assist in filing a request for removal from Interpol’s list.

How to Know if You are a Target of an Interpol Red Notice

While you may understand what is a red notice from Interpol, it’s usually hard to know if you are on the Interpol red notice list of targets. Usually, red notice people become aware of it during extreme instances such as an arrest warrant. In most cases, most of the information concerning prominent Red Notices remains confidential until they are executed, still, there are ways to find out such information:

How to check if you are subject to a Red Notice

The INTERPOL webpage

Check the INTERPOL website’s ‘wanted individuals’ section.

This page includes excerpts from some, but not all, Red Notices. If your name does show on this page, it will also offer a very general indication of what type of offense you are sought for, for example, ‘stealing’. You will need to pursue one of the other steps outlined below to receive more precise information.

Even if your name is not on this list, you may still be subject to a Red Notice because only some Red Notices are displayed on this website. The rest are only accessible through INTERPOL’s restricted networks, which are only accessible to national law enforcement authorities.

Diffusions are never shown on INTERPOL’s website, thus you will not be included on this page if you are the victim of one.

The police

Several persons Fair Trials has dealt with have been able to acquire information simply by asking authorities in their own country. Although there is no legal mechanism in place for this, people have got replies in certain circumstances on an informal basis.

Be aware that police might not have access to INTERPOL data and may not be able to confirm whether information about you exists. A police statement indicating no information on file isn’t conclusive, as they might not be able to access relevant INTERPOL databases.

You might be able to request information access under your country’s data protection laws. For instance, European Union countries typically have provisions for individuals to access their data held in government files. However, there can be exceptions for law enforcement purposes, potentially restricting access. It’s advisable to consult a lawyer in your country for guidance.

The Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (‘CCF’)

You can apply to access your file via the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF) Requests Chamber. The CCF ensures INTERPOL’s data processing complies with its rules. It comprises two chambers: the Advisory Chamber and the Requests Chamber. The latter handles requests for accessing, modifying, or deleting data in INTERPOL’s databases. It consists of five members, all lawyers, including one with global police experience and another with a senior judicial or prosecutorial background. The remaining three are experts in data security, international criminal law, and human rights.

Ensure to address your envelope specifically to the Requests Chamber of the CCF. Mail sent to INTERPOL at the same address might be opened by the General Secretariat. Information provided can be used for police cooperation, potentially being logged in databases and shared with National Central Bureaus (NCBs).

The most reliable option is to make the request to CCF as it increases your chances to get the correct information as soon as possible. Do we need to remind you that Interpol cases, especially red notice removal should not be underestimated, investigated only by experienced lawyers? Interpol lawyers can help you on the way of investigation, find information about you on the lists and provide notice investigation defense.

Read more about How to know if you are wanted by Interpol

Recent reports from the INTERPOL File Control Commission (2021 and 2022) reveal a significant issue: nearly half of the challenged Red Notices did not comply with INTERPOL’s regulations. This high rate of non-compliance highlights a substantial problem with the potential abuse of the Red Notice system.

Despite existing legal safeguards intended to prevent misuse, the persistence of non-compliant Red Notices underscores the complexities and vulnerabilities within the system. This situation necessitates the intervention of seasoned international criminal law experts to navigate the intricate mechanisms of INTERPOL and to formulate effective strategies for the removal of unjust Red Notices.

To mitigate the impact of wrongful Red Notices, it is imperative to seek counsel from experienced international criminal law specialists. These experts can provide a comprehensive legal assessment and devise detailed strategies to challenge and remove erroneous data from the INTERPOL information system.

What is the TRAP Act and how does it address Interpol abuse?

Misuse of INTERPOL Red Notices

Red Notices, like any other INTERPOL notices, are vital for international law enforcement, they are sometimes misused for purposes that undermine their intended function. Red Notices have been exploited to harass individuals for personal, political, economic, or military reasons, leading to unwarranted arrests, detentions, and travel restrictions that severely disrupt the lives of those targeted. This misuse raises significant concerns about the integrity and credibility of INTERPOL’s mechanisms.

Introduction to the TRAP Act

The Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention (TRAP) Act is U.S. legislation designed to curb the misuse of INTERPOL’s tools, particularly Red Notices, for repressive purposes. Enacted in response to growing concerns over authoritarian regimes exploiting INTERPOL mechanisms, the TRAP Act implements several measures to protect individuals from unjust persecution and ensure the integrity of INTERPOL’s processes.

Key Provisions of the TRAP Act

  1. Monitoring and Reporting Misuse: The TRAP Act mandates the U.S. government to monitor and report on the misuse of INTERPOL by foreign governments. This involves documenting instances where Red Notices or Diffusions are used to target political opponents, activists, or other non-criminal entities. By maintaining comprehensive records of such abuses, the U.S. aims to shed light on the extent of the problem and hold offending states accountable.
  2. Diplomatic Measures: The Act authorizes the U.S. Secretary of State to take diplomatic measures against countries that misuse INTERPOL. This can include raising concerns in bilateral discussions, collaborating with international partners to address the abuse, and leveraging diplomatic channels to advocate for reforms within INTERPOL. Such measures aim to pressure offending countries to cease their misuse of INTERPOL mechanisms.
  3. Protection of Victims: The TRAP Act includes provisions to protect individuals in the U.S. from being unjustly detained or harassed due to INTERPOL’s misuse. This involves ensuring that U.S. authorities critically evaluate Red Notices and Diffusions to prevent wrongful arrests based on politically motivated or otherwise illegitimate notices. By implementing these safeguards, the Act aims to protect the rights of individuals and prevent abuses.
  4. Support for INTERPOL Reforms: The Act encourages the U.S. to support and advocate for reforms within INTERPOL to enhance transparency, accountability, and the protection of human rights. This includes promoting procedural changes to ensure that Red Notices and Diffusions are issued based on credible evidence and legal standards. By advocating for these reforms, the TRAP Act seeks to strengthen the integrity of INTERPOL’s processes and prevent future misuse.
  5. Annual Reporting: The TRAP Act requires the Department of Justice to submit an annual report to Congress on the extent of INTERPOL abuse. This report details specific cases of misuse and the steps taken by the U.S. to address these issues. The annual report ensures ongoing oversight and accountability, providing a mechanism for continuous evaluation and response to the misuse of INTERPOL mechanisms.

How to challenge Red Notice

Before filing for the deletion of an Interpol red notice request, we analyze the case file in detail and formulate a legal strategy to increase the chances of a successful data challenge. Each case requires an individual approach, which is why we recommend that you turn to highly specialized professionals experienced in extradition matters and international criminal law for such complex matters.

How to Request for the Removal or Deletion of a Red Notice?

The CCF rejects any notice request that violates Interpol’s Constitution. A red notice must meet admissibility requirements according to INTERPOL regulations. This allows you to ask for a correction or deletion of a red notice issued against you if you believe they are illegal.

To request Interpol to remove a red notice from their information system, follow these steps:

  1. Request your national authorities to ask Interpol to remove your details from their databases, also with legal assistance.
  2. Apply to the CCF through legal petitions, ensuring your request meets the admissibility criteria per Interpol’s rules to revise its previous decisions.

When you challenge an Interpol diffusion, the Request Chamber of CCF will conduct a detailed legal and quality compliance review on the matter. This task force will consider all the available information including data from the requesting National Central Bureau before cancellation. However, the CCF’s decision to reject the red notice doesn’t prevent international cooperation through other channels.

What are the requirements for Red notice Removal Requests?

The request for data deletion must be in one of the working languages of Interpol (English, Arabic, French, Spanish). The request must contain a precise but brief statement of facts concerning your complaint, and the main legal instruments that you consider have been violated.

The request may attach any documents provided to support your request, such as the passport or other identification documents, and power of attorney if the request is submitted by the representatives. Your lawyer will only need to show how the notices violate Interpol’s rules and provide all relevant supporting documents.

INTERPOL’s Refugee Policy and Human Rights Protections

INTERPOL’s Refugee Policy is a critical framework designed to protect refugees from being wrongfully targeted through its mechanisms, such as Red Notices and Diffusions. This policy is rooted in the recognition that refugees, having fled persecution or conflict in their home countries, are particularly vulnerable to the misuse of international law enforcement tools. The policy aims to balance the need for effective transnational policing with the obligation to uphold human rights and international protection standards.

The INTERPOL General Assembly has adopted several resolutions to strengthen protections for refugees and uphold people’s rights. Key resolutions include:

  1. Resolution AG-2017-RES-03: Adopted in 2017, this resolution addresses the protection of refugees from unjustified Red Notices and Diffusions. It underscores the necessity of ensuring that such tools are not used to violate the rights of refugees and mandates enhanced scrutiny of requests involving individuals with refugee status.
  2. Resolution AGN/53/RES/7 (1984): This earlier resolution established foundational principles for the treatment of refugees within the context of international policing. It emphasized that INTERPOL’s activities should not contravene the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, both of which provide critical protections for refugees.

Key Provisions of INTERPOL’s Refugee Policy

Verification and Scrutiny: INTERPOL requires stringent verification processes for Red Notices and Diffusions involving refugees. This includes cross-referencing with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) databases and other relevant sources to confirm the individual’s status as a refugee.

Suspension and Deletion: If an individual is identified as a refugee, INTERPOL’s policy provides for the suspension or deletion of the Red Notice or Diffusion. This is to prevent any actions that might lead to their unjust detention or extradition back to the country of persecution.

Human Rights Protections: The policy is aligned with international human rights standards, ensuring that INTERPOL’s activities do not result in violations of refugees’ rights. This includes adherence to the principles of non-refoulement, which prohibits returning individuals to a country where they may face persecution.

If you are facing unlawful dissemination of information and believe your rights have been violated, remember that even in the most challenging situations, effective legal solutions are within reach.

With extensive experience in challenging INTERPOL Red Notices and Diffusions, Interpol Law Firm has developed a unique and robust approach to formulating legal strategies. Our deep understanding of the practices of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF) and the intricate balance between alleged violations and the Committee’s mandate allows us to navigate these complex cases successfully.

If you believe you are the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice or any other form of dissemination, contact our attorneys for professional advice. Our experts provide comprehensive legal assistance, from understanding the intricate rules of INTERPOL to requesting necessary information and pursuing appropriate legal actions.

Don’t let the misuse of INTERPOL mechanisms disrupt your life. Reach out to us for expert legal support and let our experienced team guide you through the process of protecting your rights and clearing your name.

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).

Interpol Red Notice FAQ

What does red notice mean
Red notice meaning Interpol red notice search for a suspect for his further extradition for a trial or an international tribunal. You can see Interpol Red Notice Explanation and check the Interpol red notice on the official website of the organization. Interpol red notice law firms help detect the notice in the database, as well as provide Interpol red notice legal advice and legal assistance to confirm the information and drop charges in case of false information from the authorities.
What does getting a Red Notice mean?
“Red Notice” is a request to law enforcement agencies around the world for the location and provisional arrest of a person pending extradition, extradition, or similar legal action. Red notice people are wanted suspects and criminals in several countries. Full Interpol red notice meaning can be found on the official website of the organization.
Who are the subjects of Red Notices
Anyone can get a red notice. The procedure for issuing a red notice is as follows: the assignment is passed from the General Prosecutor’s Office to the National Bureau of Interpol, from where it reaches the headquarters in Lyon, France; the Secretary General of Interpol himself decides whether to notify the member states of the organization that a particular person is wanted.
How can I find out if there is a Red Notice issued against me?
To find out if you have a red notice is very easy, send us [email protected] and we will send a special request to Interpol. The service costs only $750 and you will know your situation for sure. Contact us if you want to know how to remove an Interpol red notice.
How long does it take to remove a Red Notice?
The duration can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case. Typically, it takes several months to a year to process a request for removal, but urgent cases may be expedited.
What should I do if I find myself subject to a Red Notice?
It is advisable to consult with a legal expert who specializes in international law and extradition matters. They can guide you through the process of challenging the notice and represent your interests.
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