In order for INTERPOL to exist, it must be financed.  Certainly, it receives occasional donations and gifts. But by and large, like any other large and voluntary organization, it can function because members pay “dues.” 

All member countries pay to be member countries of INTERPOL.  The fee for membership is commensurate with the country’s fiscal well-being.  How this pans out is that the wealthier countries effectively subsidize the membership of the the poorer countries.  If everyone agrees that the goal of global police communication is worth supporting the less affluent countries, then everyone is relatively happy with the arrangement.

But what happens when it one of the member countries is using INTERPOL for corrupt purposes?  In recent posts, we have considered the issue of corruption and misuse of Red Notices.  Today, the conversation includes the idea that “clean” member countries effectively support those countries who would abuse their INTERPOL membership.  

When a member country with little or no history of corruption, such as Sweden or Denmark, acts as an INTERPOL member country, few complaints can expect to be heard regarding bribery attempts and the like.  Such members clearly “earn their keep” as INTERPOL member countries, and impose no negative image on INTERPOL.

However, when one of the historically more corrupt countries, utilizes any of the tools at its disposal as an INTERPOL member country, it is much more likely that corruption will taint that effort in some fashion. The possibility of inappropriate Red Notice requests or improper use of data is much greater for those countries.

Both types of member countries are afforded the same level of access and presumption of validity of action by INTERPOL.  What this means is that the “clean” countries pay into the system which supports and allows the actions of the “dirtier” countries.  

Could INTERPOL survive without the “clean” countries and their financial support?  Probably not.  An international organization is only as good as its reputation, and for INTERPOL, much of its credibility comes from its acceptance and recognition by the more powerful, and less corrupt, countries who are members.

But what of the “dirtier” countries?  Next time:  Could INTERPOL survive without the participation of its more corrupt member countries? 

As always, questions and comments are welcomed.