In keeping with the last post’s discussion of INTERPOL member countries’ National Central Bureaus (NCB’s) issuing their own Red Notices, today’s post addresses the safety features offered by INTERPOL.  

INTERPOL maintains that it has safety measures in place such as its set of standards, which it supplies to its member NCB’s under the theory that such provision will ensure compliance with INTERPOL’s rules.  

In the event that the safety standards are not followed, INTERPOL offers as a backup safety feature the General Secretariat, which may modify or delete information from INTERPOL’s databases “in case of doubt.”  In other words, when a doubt as the to the validity of a Red Notice is raised, the General Secretariat reviews the information to determine its propriety.  

The difficulty with this approach stems from the extremely high burden placed upon a Red Notice subject. Once a Red Notice is issued, as now can occur based on the simple entry of information by an NCB official, the Red Notice bears a presumption of validity.  Therefore, even without review by an actual INTERPOL official, INTERPOL accepts, circulates, and often publishes Red Notices based on the unconfirmed information submitted by a member country’s law enforcement employee.

While this system does provide a forum for relief, it assumes that all NCB’s are playing fairly.  When they don’t, they still receive the benefit of instant credibility which must be overcome by the complaining parties or their attorneys. 

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.