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What is the Interpol and a Red Notice?

Oct 15, 2022


In today's edition of our Current Affairs, we will talk about a crucial topic i.e Interpol and Red Notice and also discuss its relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus.

For Prelims: Interpol, Red Notice, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), National Central Bureau.

For Mains: The Interpol and Its Mandate, Is an RN a warrant of arrest

Read about our yesterday's edition of Current Affairs on Jayaprakash Narayan


Recently, Interpol has rejected India’s request for the second time to issue a Red Corner Notice against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, whom the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has listed as a “terrorist” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Probable Question

Explain the purpose of the International Criminal Police Organization and the notices issued by it.

About the Interpol

  • The Interpol, or International Criminal Police Organization, is an inter-governmental organization.
  • Member Country:
    • It comprises 195 member countries, which helps police forces in all these countries to better coordinate their actions. 
    • Interpol has a National Central Bureau (NCB) in each member country.
  • Headquarters: It is headquartered in Lyon, France.
  • Objective: The organization enables member countries to share and access data on crimes and criminals, and offers a range of technical and operational support.
  • Working: 
    • The Interpol general secretariat coordinates the organization’s day-to-day activities. 
    • It is run by a secretary-general (currently Jurgen Stock of Germany, who has been Interpol’s chief executive since 2014), with its headquarters, its global complex for innovation in Singapore, and several satellite offices in different regions.
    • NCBs are the central point of contact for both the general secretariat and the other NCBs around the world. 
    • Each NCB is run by police officials of that country, and usually sits in the government ministry responsible for policing. 
    • In India the police officials of NCB sit in the Home Ministry of India.
  • Significance:
    • Interpol manages 19 police databases with information on crimes and criminals (from names and fingerprints to stolen passports), accessible in real-time to countries. 
    • It also offers investigative support such as forensics, analysis, and assistance in locating fugitives around the world, according to the Interpol website.

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Red Notice (RN)

  • To evade facing justice, often criminals or suspects flee to other countries, this is where a Red Corner notice comes to play.
  • A Red Corner Notice or Red Notice (RN) alerts police forces across the world about fugitives who are wanted internationally.
  • Objective of RN: 
    • Red Notices are issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence. 
    • A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.”
  • Significance of RN:
    • It contains information that helps identify wanted persons, such as their names, dates of birth, nationality, physical attributes, pictures, and biometric data, whatever is available. 
    • RNs also mention the crime(s) they are wanted for.
  • Features:
    • An RN is published by Interpol at the request of a member country, where the alleged crime has been committed. 
    • The country issuing the request need not be the home country of the fugitive.
    • An RN is published on Interpol’s website only in cases where the help of the public is needed to locate an individual, or if those individuals pose a threat to public safety.
    • These RNs are restricted for use by law enforcement authorities only. 
    • The Interpol says that an RN must comply with its constitution and rules, i.e. “every Red Notice request is checked by a specialized task force to ensure it is compliant with (Interpol) rules”.
    • The Interpol argues that an RN is issued only after a competent court has taken cognizance of a chargesheet against the fugitive.
  • Indians on the RNs: The most popular Indians on this list are jeweler Mehul Choksi and diamantaire Nirav Modi.
Other Interpol’s Notice:
Apart from Red Notice, Interpol also has the following Notices:

Yellow Notice: To find or identify any missing persons. The notice assists to resolve cases of human trafficking.

Orange Notice: To alert countries of a serious and imminent threat to public safety about an event, a person, an object, or a process representing.

Green Notice: To alert countries about the criminal activities committed by a person, this notice is issued.

Blue Notice: This notice is used to get additional information about a person’s identity, location, or activities with respect to crimes. 

Purple Notice: This notice is to seek knowledge on the modus operandi, objects, devices, and concealment methods used by criminals from the member country. 

Black Notice: To seek information or unidentified bodies from a member country, this notice serves as a request.

Is an RN a Warrant of Arrest?

  • RN is just an international wanted persons’ notice, not an international arrest warrant. 
  • The Interpol cannot compel law enforcement authorities in any country to arrest the subject of an RN, leaving it to individual member countries and the authority of their national law enforcement officers to make arrests.

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA):

The UAPA was first enacted in 1967 and amended in 2004.It was also amended in 2008 and 2013. It was passed to restrict any unlawful activity in the country.

The 2004 amendment was to ban organizations for terrorist activities, under which 34 outfits were banned and the number has gradually increased to 42.

News Source: The Indian Express

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