While people who are the subject of Red Notices may be arrested when they encounter law enforcement officials with knowledge of the outstanding Red Notice, the fact is that a Red Notice is not an arrest warrant.

Although some of INTERPOL’s member countries treat a Red Notice as an arrest warrant, others do not.  One very clearly stated position regarding Red Notices is provided here by member country New Zealand.  A New Zealand law enforcement official outlined its procedures for Red Notice subjects as follows:  

“In New Zealand we cannot arrest on the basis of a Red Notice.  There must be a provisional arrest warrant issued by a New Zealand Court, pursuant to a formal extradition request.  If [the subject is] located, [the member country] would be required to make an extradition request to New Zealand through formal diplomatic channels.”

In addition to having formal procedures in place for handling Red Notices, member countries also take into consideration the practical matters associated with bringing a wanted subject back to the issuing country. Those issues may include the cost of extradition and the assembly of the required documents to effect an extradition.  The United States, for example, provides specific instructions regarding the action to be taken with respect to Red Notice subjects here.

In the next post, look for an update regarding the member countries of INTERPOL.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.