Improvements in investigations into fugitives, an Interpol priority

Studying and perfecting good practices for the International search for fugitives has been the objective of a series of meetings taking place at the end of 2017 and brought together specialised agents from countries that are members of Interpol.

Over a hundred specialists from 70 countries from different disciplines analysed the cases of the most wanted refugees and those unresolved cases of special relevance, trying to put together a worldwide network of specialists in the investigation of fugitives. With a view to this objective, there was an insistence on the need to apply more innovative techniques and promote the exchange of information and international cooperation to locate and arrest fugitives who move to other countries to flee from justice.

One of the most effective ways Interpol has at its disposal to reveal the destination of fugitives on an International scale is the publication of red notifications, which serve to apply for the provisional arrest of a wanted person in order to extradite him / her, once the notification is issued to all police services of the member countries.

Since 2009, new operations INFRA have been developed – in order to track down and arrest fugitives–, with the result of about 540 arrests and the locating of 300 others, in investigations into drug trafficking, weapons or people, sexual offences or against the environment.

And it is via Interpol databases, with over 200 consultations per second, and the expansion of the protected police communications system called I-24/7, which enhances organisational abilities to investigate and prevent crime in member states.

Interpol also launched its biometric service for facial recognition at the end of 2016. It now has about 45,000 images from 137 countries.

Among the activities developed by Interpol in the area of tracking down fugitives, the following must be mentioned:

  • It provides proactive and systematic assistance to member countries and other international entities in order to track down and arrest fugitives who cross borders.
  • It provides investigative assistance to member countries in international searches for fugitives.
  • It coordinates international cooperation in the field of investigating fugitives.
  • It offers training and organises conferences.
  • It gives support and operational assistance in the search for individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes on behalf of member countries of Interpol, United Nations tribunals and the International criminal court.


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