INTERPOL's robust monitoring systems have recently identified and detected an attempted misuse in a small number of cases to block and delete Red Notices.  

As soon as the issue was flagged, I worked closely with the organization's Secretary General, Mr. Jürgen Stock, and the General Secretariat to take immediate actions, including reporting the issue to law enforcement authorities in France, our host country.

As a result, a coordinated anti-corruption operation was carried out in partnership with authorities from France, the UK, Moldova and the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This cross-border operation, which took place across 33 locations in Moldova, aimed to address the attempted misuse of the Red Notice system in the country.

While INTERPOL carries out countless operations across the globe each year, this particular one touched one of the cornerstones of the organization – the integrity of one of INTERPOL’s key tools designed to promote international police cooperation. 

With over 70,000 people currently on INTERPOL’s Red Notice list, we take our responsibility to ensure the integrity of our systems and processes very seriously and we are committed to transparency, accountability, and good governance. We do not tolerate misuse of any kind – INTERPOL’s reputation and success depend on it.

As the President of INTERPOL, I was not only proud to see the swift detection of suspicious activity by our international systems but also grateful for the the concerted efforts of our member countries and partner agencies to remediate this issue right away. It is thanks to our strong INTERPOL network that we were able to uncover this suspected corruption scheme to bribe officials in Moldova and beyond to obstruct the issuance of Red Notices for wanted international fugitives.

This latest operation highlighted three major learnings: 

1.    The efficiency of our internal systems: INTERPOL would not be efficient without our rigid internal mechanisms. Our effective systems swiftly flagged suspicious activities which, in turn, enabled us to quickly take the necessary measures to stop this nefarious scheme.

2.    The importance of cross-border collaboration: Unity is key to tackle transnational crime and the success of this operation would not have been possible without the seamless collaboration between INTERPOL member countries and our partner policing agencies.

3.    The importance of trust in global policing: Trust must remain at the center of global policing. Since our inception in 1923, INTERPOL member countries have placed their trust into the organization and provided unwavering support for our operations. In turn, we at INTERPOL remain committed to delivering on our oath to protect and serve.

INTERPOL’s investigations are still ongoing, as we continue to hold talks with our 196 member countries to embrace the right mechanisms to safeguard the efficiency and integrity of our systems.

The success of this operation owes greatly to the steadfast dedication of our Executive Committee in upholding the integrity of INTERPOL’s systems. I am also genuinely grateful for the continued efforts of the wider INTERPOL team and the many police officers involved in the investigation. We will continue to work together with the concerned law enforcement authorities and provide our full support to ensure that justice is served.

For over 100 years, INTERPOL’s operations have been a testament to our commitment to justice and impartiality across the world. And as I promised when elected as President of this esteemed organization, I will do what it takes to protect and maintain INTERPOL’s values of integrity, diversity, and respect. Our mission is and will always remain making the world a safer place for all.