One of the primary concerns of people who are Red Notice subjects is what will happen to them if they are detained at a border. A reader recently posed  this variation of that frequent question:

What happens if you do not have a red notice at this moment, but let’s assume you board a flight to another country, and by the time you arrive a red notice has been issued for a crime you are charged with in the country you left?  I assume you will get arrested pending a extradition hearing?
The question is what would happen next as the red notice is issued by a country with no treaty in place with the country to which you have traveled- does that mean you could get released? Or could they still request your extradition?

The question addresses the use of INTERPOL’s tools in relation to the extradition process. The primary reason for a Red Notice being requested is so that a wanted person can be detected upon entry into another country (or contact with another country’s law enforcement officials) and then returned to the requesting country.

However, several variables determine whether a Red Notice will actually result in the subject’s return to the requesting country:

  1. Detention: Each INTERPOL member country decides whether to detain a Red Notice subject. In my experience, some countries do, and some do not- they may instead tell the subject to board the next plane back to the original country.
  2. Removal proceedings vs. extradition: If a member country does detain the subject, it must decide whether to notify the requesting country that the subject has been found. Again, in my experience, some countries are more vigilant about notifying requesting countries that they have detained a Red Notice subject. They may, instead, begin removal (deportation) proceedings, so that the subject is required to leave the territory for whatever destination the subject chooses.
  3. Extradition treaties: if a Red Notice subject appears in an INTERPOL member country that has no extradition treaty with the requesting country, it is unlikely that extradition will occur. However…
  4. Diplomatic relations: there exists the possibility that a Red Notice subject could be transferred for prosecution via diplomatic channels, without the existence of a treaty.

Additionally, a Red Notice can be requested or issued at any time, and it can be acted upon at any time. There is no limitation requiring law enforcement to  check a person’s INTERPOL status only at the border. Any contact with law enforcement officials, whether they be police officers or immigration officials, can lead to a Red Notice “hit” and authorities being alerted to a Red Notice subject’s status with INTERPOL.

As always, questions and comments are welcomed.