Interpol Diffusion

Interpol Diffusion

An Interpol diffusion is an informal alert used by member states to inform law enforcement about individuals wanted for crimes. Similar to a red notice but less formal, diffusions are not published on the Interpol website and are circulated through Interpol channels by the country seeking assistance for arrest and extradition.

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Interpol Diffusion

From year to year, the Interpol system records hundreds of Interpol notices that are subject to review by the Commission for the control of Interpol files. A significant portion of the alerts do not meet the acceptance criteria and are removed from the system.

According to the  Activity report of the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s files for 2022, Among the 1,054 applicants in 2022 subject to data, 653 were subject to notices, and 285 were subject to diffusions. So, what is diffusion notice, how does it work and how can you get it removed?

What is Interpol Diffusion Notice and How it Works

An Interpol diffusion notice refers to an informal international alert issued by a state to alert law enforcement authorities in Interpol member countries about a wanted person. It differs from an Interpol red notice in that a diffusion notice isn’t published on Interpol on behalf of the member state. However, the requesting member state can use Interpol’s channels to circulate it.

Notices issued by Interpol are made on the requests made by authorized international entities like the International criminal court (ICC) or the central bureaus of their member states. The Interpol diffusion notice consists of standardized requests for cooperation from law enforcement authorities and alerts each corresponding to a specific purpose: 

  • to arrest, detain, or restrict the movements of a convicted person pending extradition or anyone accused of a criminal activity; 
  • to locate and trace; 
  • to obtain additional information; 
  • for identification purposes.

The conditions for sending an Interpol diffusion are the same as the general conditions for recording data in the Organization’s police databases. A diffusion notice shall be circulated in at least one of the Organization’s working languages. As a rule, information is disseminated through the Interpol Information System directly to one or more countries, beyond the control of the Interpol General Secretariat.

Types of Interpol Notices

So what is a diffusion notice and what are they like? There are several types, and diffusion notice meaning depends on their color. There are eight types of Interpol notices, including seven color-coded notices.

Red Notice:

Interpol red notices are circulated to help locate, arrest, and extradite a fugitive wanted for crimes to serve a sentence or face charges.

Blue Notice:

Interpol Blue notice is used to collect additional information about a person subject to an international arrest warrant. The information may include their identity, location, and details of crimes committed

Black Notice:

Helps obtain information on unidentified bodies.

Yellow Notice:

A public safety yellow notice is used to find a missing person unable to identify themselves.

Orange Notice:

Helps warn the public and international entities about a possible threat to the public, including events, persons, objects, or processes.

Purple Notice:

Helps provide and seek information on criminals’ modi operandi, concealment methods, devices, and procedures.

Green Notice:

The criminal investigation green notice helps communicate information to the public about a person’s criminal activities, which have a risk of being repeated in other countries.

Interpol United Nations Security Council Special Notice:

Helps inform Interpol’s members about a group or person subject to UN Security Council sanctions.

Interpol Diffusion vs Red Notice: What is the difference? 

A Diffusion and an Interpol Red Notice have both similarities and differences. The common element is that both diffusions and notices end in a similar legal action, they can be aimed at locating a person and provisionally arrest for further extradition. However, an Interpol red notice or diffusion in itself isn’t the same as an arrest warrant.

The main difference is that an Interpol diffusion, unlike an Interpol red notice, is limited to one or more countries. That means they are not available to all Interpol member states, so you can travel to some countries without the risk of detention. However, you will never know which countries are safe and which are not.

If you want to understand Interpol rules and verify this information, legal assistance is a must. The experienced lawyers at Interpol Law Firm – Collegium of International Lawyers will prepare a petition for you to access Interpol’s files and check the Interpol information system, so you don’t have to worry about it.

How to Remove an Interpol Diffusion? 

The procedure for removing an Interpol wanted person diffusion notice is similar to removing a red notice. Before filing an Interpol notice deletion 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 for such complex matters.

How to Request for the Removal or Deletion of a Diffusion? 

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

To remove a diffusion or red notice from Interpol, follow these steps:

  1. Ask the judicial authorities of the issuing country to delete the information with the help of a lawyer who understands Interpol’s rules.
  2. Request your national authorities to ask Interpol to remove your details from their databases, also with legal assistance.
  3. Apply to the CCF, ensuring your request meets the admissibility criteria per Interpol’s rules.

When you challenge an Interpol diffusion, the Request chamber of CCF will conduct a detailed legal and quality compliance review on the matter. However, the CCF decision to reject red notice or diffusion doesn’t prevent international cooperation through other channels.

What are the requirements for Diffusion Removal Requests?

The request for data deletion must be in one of the working languages of Interpol (English, Arabic, French, Spanish, or 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.

How to Know if You Are Subject to a Diffusion?

It’s usually difficult to know if your information is on Interpol’s alert list. But it’s important to know what is diffusion interpol notice is and what it means. However, you may find out using the following steps:

  • Ask the Police or Judicial authorities: Local judicial authorities or the police may be able to help you find out if you have an arrest warrant subject to diffusion or red notice. However, there is no formal way for this process since the police may be barred from consulting Interpol records and disclosing the information to the public.
  • Request the information from CCF: You can also request the CCF for access to your file. The process can be challenging and requires the help of an experienced lawyer. Not only can the lawyer help you gain access to your file, but also challenge the information. Note that the process may take some time since the CCF must consult with the National central bureau (NCB) of the involved country. However, the CCF doesn’t necessarily have to get approval from the NCB if you have enough proof that your information is featured on Interpol’s files.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to check your name on the Interpol’s wanted persons’ list, as it lists only features selected types of red notices and diffusions are not published on the organization’s website, meaning you can’t find this information on Interpol’s website.

Where to Seek Legal Advice?

If you are faced with unlawful dissemination of information about you and believe that your rights have been violated, remember that even in the most difficult situation, we can find effective legal solutions.

Having many years of experience in challenging Interpol red notices and diffusions, we have developed our unique approach to formulating a legal strategy. We understand the practice of the Commission for the control of INTERPOL’s files and the fine line between the existing violations in this case and the Committee’s mandate to review the legality of the dissemination.

If you believe you are the subject of an Interpol red notice or any other dissemination, please contact our attorneys for professional advice.

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).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am subject to Interpol diffusion or Red Notice?
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.
How do I remove Interpol diffusion notice?
Upon receipt of an Interpol diffusion notice, if grounds for deletion are established, a request for deletion of information from the Interpol database (request for deletion) must be submitted to Interpol.
What kind of crimes does INTERPOL investigate?
Common crimes handled by Interpol include all international crimes except political crimes: drug and arms trafficking, theft of valuables, terrorism, murder, counterfeiting, and more.
Can I travel If I am subject to a Red Notice / Diffusion?
There is a significant risk of your being arrested, in your home country or during travel, if a Red Notice/Diffusion applies to you. In several nations, border officials are mandated to detain individuals who are subjects of Red Notices, meaning you could face arrest when arriving or departing at an airport. Similarly, in some locations, hotels may share guest information with local law enforcement, who then cross-reference these names with INTERPOL lists, potentially leading to your apprehension.
Write to the CCF myself VS brief a lawyer to do it?
INTERPOL's regulations are very complex and it's advisable to consult an attorney skilled in contesting INTERPOL Red Notices and Diffusions. The annex to this Advisory Note includes a list of law firms experienced in this field. However, INTERPOL doesn't offer legal aid, and we're not privy to any nation that provides legal aid for challenging a Red Notice or Diffusion. Consequently, if procuring legal assistance is financially unfeasible, you might consider submitting a request independently.
How is a Diffusion different from a Red Notice?
A Diffusion is less formal than a Red Notice and can be sent directly to selected member countries without going through the General Secretariat. This allows for quicker dissemination of urgent information.
Who can issue a Diffusion?
Any Interpol member country can issue a Diffusion. The issuing country is responsible for the content and the choice of recipient countries.
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