A reader recently sent in a question about INTERPOL’s response time for requests for removal of Red Notices, which is commonly asked by Red Notice subjects.  That question, in pertinent part, is:

I have challenged the notice and a month back I have heard from Interpol that they have admitted my request.  The clarification, I wish to seek is that after admitting the request, how much time generally Interpol takes to decide the matter and is it purely Interpol discretion to remove / delete the name from its record or the party on whose initiative the RCN has been issued. 

The reader’s experience of having received a finding of admissibility is a normal one, as the CCF is required to issue such a response within thirty days of having received a request for access to INTERPOL’s files.  The reference to a “RCN” means “Red Corner Notice,” which is a commonly used term for a Red Notice in certain parts of the world.

Regarding the question of how long the CCF may take to respond to a request for removal of a Red Notice, the unsatisfying answer is that there is no specific deadline.  Cases may take more or less time to be determined based on the CCF’s workload, the relevant NCB’s timeliness (or lack thereof) in responding to any requests for information, and other factors that the CCF does not share with the world at large. Several months is not at all unusual, nor is one to two years, and occassionally, a response could take longer. However, in my experience, the CCF is responsive to requests for updates when cases are taking longer than normal.

As to whether the removal of a Red Notice is purely in the discretion of INTERPOL, ultimately, the answer is yes.  While a challenge that includes specific evidence of relevant violations is more likely to succeed than one that does not contain such evidence, and NCB’s are often consulted prior to a removal request being decided, INTERPOL is the ultimate decider of whether its rules have been violated and whether a Red Notice should be removed.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.