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International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL
Common name Interpol
Abbreviation ICPO
Logo of the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL.
Agency overview
Formed 7 September 1923
Employees 756 (2013)[1]
Annual budget €78 million (2013)[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
International agency
Countries 190 member countries
Map of International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL's jurisdiction.
Governing body Interpol General Assembly
Constituting instrument ICPO-INTERPOL Constitution and General Regulations
General nature
  • Civilian agency
Operational structure
Headquarters Lyon, France
Agency executives
National Central Bureaus 190
Interpol headquarters in Lyon.

The International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL, is a non-governmental organization facilitating international police cooperation. It was established as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) in 1923 and adopted its telegraphic address as its common name in 1956.[2]

Interpol has an annual budget of around €78 million, most of which is provided through annual contributions by its membership of 190 countries. The organization's headquarters is in United Nations in terms of international representation. In 2013, the Interpol General Secretariat employed a staff of 756, representing 100 member countries.[1] Its current Secretary-General is Jürgen Stock, the former deputy head of Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office. He replaced Ronald Noble, a former United States Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement, who stepped down in November 2014 after serving 14 years.[3] Succeeding Khoo Boon Hui, Interpol's current President is former Deputy Central Director of the French Judicial Police Mireille Ballestrazzi.

To keep Interpol as politically neutral as possible, its piracy, illicit traffic in works of art, illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption.


  • History 1
  • Constitution 2
  • Methodology 3
  • Finances 4
  • Controversy 5
    • 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine 5.1
  • Emblem 6
  • Members and sub-bureaus 7
  • States not represented 8
  • Offices 9
  • Secretaries-general and presidents 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


In the first part of the 20th century, several efforts were taken to formalize international police cooperation, but they initially failed.[6] Among these efforts were the First International Criminal Police Congress in Monaco in 1914, and the International Police Conference in New York in 1922. The Monaco Congress failed because it was organized by legal experts and political officials, not by police professionals, while the New York Conference failed to attract international attention.

In 1923, a new initiative was taken at the International Criminal Police Congress in Vienna where the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) was successfully founded as the direct forerunner of Interpol. Founding members included police officials from Russia, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Poland, China, Egypt, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.[7] The United States did not join Interpol until 1938, although a US police officer unofficially attended the 1923 congress.[8] The United Kingdom joined in 1928.[9]

Following Nazi Germany, and the Commission's headquarters were eventually moved to Berlin in 1942.[10] From 1938 to 1945, the presidents of Interpol included Otto Steinhäusl, Reinhard Heydrich, Arthur Nebe, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner. All were generals in the SS, and Kaltenbrunner was the highest ranking SS officer executed after the Nuremberg Trials.

After the end of Belgium, France, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Its new headquarters were established in Saint-Cloud, a suburb of Paris. They remained there until 1989, when they were moved to their present location in Lyon.

Until the 1980s Interpol did not intervene in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in accordance with Article 3 of its Charter, which prohibited intervention in "political" matters.[11]

In July 2010, former Interpol President Jackie Selebi was found guilty of corruption by the South African High Court in Johannesburg for accepting bribes worth €156,000 from a drug trafficker.[12] After being charged in January 2008, Selebi resigned as president of Interpol and was put on extended leave as National Police Commissioner of South Africa.[13] He was temporarily replaced by Arturo Herrera Verdugo, the National Commissioner of Investigations Police of Chile and former vice president for the American Zone, who remained acting president until October 2008 and the appointment of Khoo Boon Hui.[14]

On 8 November 2012, the 81st General Assembly closed with the election of Deputy Central Director of the French Judicial Police

  • Interpol – Official website

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "2013 Annual Report" (PDF). Interpol. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Name and logo". Interpol. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Germany's Jurgen Stock new Interpol chief".  
  4. ^ "Neutrality (Article 3 of the Constitution)". Interpol. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "War crimes". Interpol. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Deflem, M. (2000). "Bureaucratization and Social Control: Historical Foundations of International Police Cooperation". Law & Society Review 34 (3): 739.  
  7. ^ "Interpol: Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF).  
  8. ^ "Interpol Member States: The United States". Interpol. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Interpol Member States: The United Kingdom". Interpol. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Deflem, M. (2002). "The Logic of Nazification: The Case of the International Criminal Police Commission("Interpol")". International Journal of Comparative Sociology 43: 21.  
  11. ^ Barnett, M.; Coleman, L. (2005). "Designing Police: Interpol and the Study of Change in International Organizations". International Studies Quarterly 49 (4): 593.  
  12. ^ "Ex-S Africa police chief convicted".  
  13. ^ Craig Timberg (13 January 2008). "S. African Chief of Police Put On Leave".  
  14. ^ "Interpol President Jackie Selebi resigns from post". Lyon: Interpol. 13 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "France’s Ballestrazzi becomes first female President of INTERPOL".  
  16. ^ "ICPO-Interpol Constitution and General Regulations". Interpol. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c  
  18. ^ "Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World". 2008.  
  19. ^ "INTERPOL issues its first ever passports". Singapore: Interpol. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Appointment of Interpol External Auditor" (PDF).  
  21. ^ "Questions and Answers".  
  22. ^ "Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2011" (PDF). Interpol. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Audit assignments and secondments". Riksrevisjonen - Office of the Auditor General of Norway. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  24. ^ Ricardo Sandoval Palos (20 July 2011). "Interpol reacts to ICIJ story".  
  25. ^ Martinière, Mathieu; Schmidt, Robert (30 October 2013). "The smoke and mirrors of the tobacco industry's funding of Interpol".  
  26. ^ Industry-INTERPOL deal signals challenges to illicit trade protocol. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  27. ^ Interpol: Wer hilft hier wem? | ZEIT ONLINE. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  28. ^ Tabakindustrie: Interpol, die Lobby und das Geld | ZEIT ONLINE. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  29. ^ [1] The transnational tobacco companies’ strategy to promote Codentify, their inadequate tracking and tracing standard. By Luk Joossens and Anna B Gilmore
  30. ^ (French) Interpol : le lobby du tabac se paie une vitrine / L'immoral financement d'Interpol / Dossiers / Actualité / France monde / Journal / Lyon Capitale - le journal de l'actualité de Lyon et du Grand Lyon. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  31. ^ , 25 July 2014KyivPost"Interpol issues wanted notice for nationalist leader Yarosh at Russia’s behest",
  32. ^ Interpol refuses to place Yanukovych and Co on wanted list. Ukrinform. 8 December 2014
  33. ^ MVS investigates political motives of Interpol on matters of Yanukovych and Co. Ukrinform. 17 November 2014
  34. ^ "Command & Coordination Centre". Interpol. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  35. ^ "Order on Interpol Work Inside U.S. Irks Conservatives".  
  36. ^ "Official opening of INTERPOL's office of its Special Representative to the European Union marks milestone in co-operation". Brussels: Interpol. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  37. ^ "S'pore, Interpol reaffirm excellent partnership".  


See also

Johann Schober 1923–1932
Franz Brandl 1932–1934
Eugen Seydel 1934–1935
Michael Skubl 1935–1938
Otto Steinhäusl 1938–1940
Reinhard Heydrich 1940–1942
Arthur Nebe 1942–1943
Ernst Kaltenbrunner 1943–1945
Florent Louwage 1945–1956
Agostinho Lourenço 1956–1960
Sir Richard Jackson 1960–1963
Fjalar Jarva 1963–1964
Firmin Franssen 1964–1968
Paul Dickopf 1968–1972
William Leonard Higgitt 1972–1976
Carl Persson 1976–1980
Jolly Bugarin 1980–1984
John Simpson 1984–1988
Ivan Barbot 1988–1992
Norman Inkster 1992–1994
Björn Eriksson 1994–1996
Toshinori Kanemoto 1996–2000
Jesús Espigares Mira 2000–2004
Jackie Selebi 2004–2008
Arturo Herrera Verdugo 2008
Khoo Boon Hui 2008–2012
Mireille Ballestrazzi 2012–
since organization's inception in 1923: Presidents
Oskar Dressler 1923–1946
Louis Ducloux 1946–1951
Marcel Sicot 1951–1963
Jean Népote 1963–1978
André Bossard 1978–1985
Raymond Kendall 1985–2000
Ronald Noble 2000–2014
Jürgen Stock 2014–
since organization's inception in 1923: Secretaries-general
Ronald Noble at the 6th Global Congress about combating piracy and counterfeiting.

Secretaries-general and presidents

The organization is currently constructing the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (ICGI) in Singapore to act as its research and development facility. It is due to become operational in September 2014.[37]

Interpol opened a Special Representative Office to the United Nations in New York in 2004[35] and to the European Union in Brussels in 2009.[36]

Interpol's Command and Coordination Centres offer a 24/7 point of contact for national police forces seeking urgent information or facing a crisis. The original is in Lyon with a second in Buenos Aires added in September 2011. A third is scheduled to open in Singapore in September 2014.[34]

In addition to its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, Interpol maintains seven regional bureaus:[1]


States not represented

Sub-bureaus shown in italics.

Map of Interpol member states.

Members and sub-bureaus

  • the globe indicates worldwide activity
  • the olive branches represent peace
  • the sword represents police action
  • the scales signify justice

The current emblem of Interpol was adopted in 1950 and comprises the following elements:[2]


On July 25, 2014, the nationalist leader of Ukraine Dmytro Yarosh was placed on Interpol's international wanted list at the request of Russian authorities,[31] which made him the only person wanted internationally after the beginning of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in 2014. However, Interpol refuses to place on wanted list the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych who is being suspected in mass killing of protesters during Euromaidan as they believe that those are political prosecutions.[32] Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine intended to check political motivation of Interpol in that regard.[33]

2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine

In 2013, Interpol was criticized over its multi-million dollar deals with such private sector bodies as FIFA, Philip Morris, and the pharmaceutical industry. The criticism was mainly about the lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest.[25][26][27][28][29][30]

Despite its political neutral stance, some have criticized the agency for its role in arrests that critics contend were politically motivated.[24]


In 2013 Interpol's operating income was €78 million, of which 68% was contributed by member countries, mostly in the form of statutory contributions (67%) and 26% came from externally funded projects, private foundations and commercial enterprises. Financial income and reimbursements made up the other 6% of the total.[1] From 2004 to 2010 Interpol's external auditors was the French Court of Audit.[20][21] In November 2010 the Court of Audit was replaced by the Office of the Auditor General of Norway for a three-year term with an option for a further three years.[22][23]


In the event of an international disaster, terrorist attack or assassination, Interpol can send an Incident Response Team (IRT). IRTs can offer a range of expertise and database access to assist with victim identification, suspect identification and the dissemination of information to other nations' law enforcement agencies. In addition, at the request of local authorities, they can act as a central command and logistics operation to coordinate other law enforcement agencies involved in a case. Such teams were deployed 8 times in 2013.[1] Interpol began issuing its own travel documents in 2009 with hopes that nations would remove visa requirements for individuals travelling for Interpol business, thereby improving response times.[19]

Interpol issued 13,637 notices in 2013, of which 8,857 were Red Notices, compared to 4,596 in 2008 and 2,037 in 2003. As of 2013 there are currently 52,880 valid notices in circulation.[1]

An encrypted internet-based worldwide communications network allows Interpol agents and member countries to contact each other at any time. Known as I-24/7, the network offers constant access to Interpol's databases.[17] While the National Central Bureaus are the primary access sites to the network, some member countries have expanded it to key areas such as airports and border access points. Member countries can also access each other's criminal databases via the I-24/7 system.

Interpol's databases at the Lyon headquarters can assist law enforcement in fighting international crime.[17] While national agencies have their own extensive crime databases, the information rarely extends beyond one nation's borders. Interpol’s databases can track criminals and crime trends around the world, specifically by means of collections of fingerprints and face photos, lists of wanted persons, DNA samples and travel documents. Interpol’s lost and stolen travel document database alone contains more than 12 million records. Officials at the headquarters also analyze these data and release information on crime trends to the member countries.

Interpol’s collaborative form of cooperation is useful when fighting international crime because language, cultural and bureaucratic differences can make it difficult for police officials from different nations to work together. For example, if ICE and FBI special agents track a terrorist to Italy, they may not know whom to contact in the Polizia di Stato, if the Carabinieri have jurisdiction over some aspect of the case, or who in the Italian government must be notified of the ICE/FBI's involvement. ICE and FBI can contact the Interpol National Central Bureau in Italy, which would act as a liaison between the United States and Italian law enforcement agencies.

Interpol is not a supranational law enforcement agency and has no agents who are able to make arrests.[17] Instead, it is an international organization that functions as a network of criminal law enforcement agencies from different countries. The organization thus functions as an administrative liaison among the law enforcement agencies of the member countries, providing communications and database assistance, assisted via the central headquarters in Lyon, France.[18]


It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

Article 3 states:[16]

  1. To ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities within the limits of the laws existing in the different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  2. To establish and develop all institutions likely to contribute effectively to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes.

Article 2 states that its role is:

The role of Interpol is defined by the general provisions of its constitution.



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