A reader posted a question recently in response to a previous post about the manner in which INTERPOL member countries respond to locating a Red Notice subject.  The reader specifically asked whether Red Notice subjects would be arrested in every member country upon their arrival to the country.

As the reader’s question focused on New Zealand, let’s use that member country as an example:  New Zealand’s policy regarding the arrest of Red Notice subjects was stated clearly by Detective Senior Sergeant Liam Clinton this past November.  He advised that New Zealand cannot make an arrest based upon a Red Notice, and instead requires a local arrest warrant issued pursuant to a formal extradition request.

While some other member countries have similar policies, it would be unwise for a Red Notice subject to believe that she can move freely about member countries with no problems.  Both official and anecdotal information reveal that whether a Red Notice subject is detained in a member country depends on several factors.  Those factors include:

  • the relationship between the originating member country and the member country where the subject finds himself;
  • the nature of the underlying charge; 
  • the policy regarding Red Notices in the member country; and
  • the depth of the security check to which the person is subjected.

Obviously, the existence of a Red Notice has a profound effect on a person’s ability to conduct business, to travel, and to maintain a livelihood.  The temptation to travel and hope for the best is a strong one, especially for people who travel for business. While there are plenty of examples of people who have been able to travel without being detained despite a Red Notice in their names, a substantial likelihood of detention exists.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.