Challenges with Interpol Notices

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February 23, 2024

Why in news?

Recently concerns have been raised about the misuse of Interpol’s notice system, especially the issuance of blue corner notices, which are less scrutinised than their red corner notices.

International Criminal Police Organisation

  • Launch year- It is an inter-governmental body founded in 1923.
  • Headquarters- Lyon, France.
  • Member countries- 196 members, India joined in 1949.
  • Role- It provides investigative support, expertise and training to law enforcement worldwide, focusing on 3 major areas of transnational crime (Terrorism, cybercrime and organized crime).
  • Uniqueness- It is the only organization with the mandate and technical infrastructure to share police information globally.
  • National Central Bureau- It is present in each member country, it links its national police with Interpol’s global network.
  • CBI- Central Bureau of Investigation is the national central bureau of India to liaison with Interpol.
  • Interpol UN Cooperation- INTERPOL has enjoyed a special role (Permanent Observer) at the United Nations since 1996.

What is Interpol notice system?

  • Interpol Notices- They are international requests for cooperation or alerts allowing police in member countries to share critical crime-related information.
  • Issue- The notices are generally issued by the General Secretariat at the request of a member country’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau and are made available for all our member countries to consult in our Notices database.


  • Notices can also be issued at the request of International Criminal Tribunals and the International Criminal Court to seek persons wanted for committing crimes within their jurisdiction, notably genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
  • Request- They can also be issued at the request of the United Nations in relation to the implementation of sanctions imposed by the Security Council.
  • Availability- Most Notices are for police use only and are not available to the public. However, an extract of the Notice can be published on this site if the requesting country wishes to alert the public or seek their help.

All United Nations Special Notices are public.

Color Coded Notice


Red Notice

To seek the location and arrest of persons wanted for prosecution or to serve a sentence.

Yellow Notice

To help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons who are unable to identify themselves.

Blue Notice

To collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities in relation to a criminal investigation.              

Black Notice

To seek information on unidentified bodies.

Green Notice

To provide warning about a person’s criminal activities, where the person is considered to be a possible threat to public safety.

Orange Notice

To warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.

Purple Notice

To seek or provide information on modus operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals.

INTERPOL–United Nations Security Council Special Notice

Issued for entities and individuals who are the targets of UN Security Council Sanctions Committees.

To know about global policing and Interpol click here

What are the issues with the Interpol?

Red Notice

Blue Notice

It is issued by a member state to arrest a wanted criminal through extradition or other lawful action.

It is an "enquiry notice," it allows member states to share critical crime-related information such as criminal records, location verification, and identity confirmation.

It follows criminal convictions and can lead to arrest while traveling through a member state.

It is issued prior to the filing of criminal charges.

Interpol cannot compel law enforcement authorities in any country to arrest the subject of a red corner notice as the exercise of such powers is entirely discretionary.

Delays or lack of cooperation from certain countries may hinder the effectiveness of Blue Notices.

  • Misuse- The notice system especially blue notice is susceptible to misuse by targeting political refugees and dissidents.
  • Political character- Allegations of misuse directed at countries like Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and Tunisia for targeting political dissidents and opponents.
  • Limited publication - Turkey criticized Interpol for not publishing certain red notices which hampers police cooperation.
  • Issue with blue notice- It is less likely to be reviewed before publication which doubled the number over the past decade.



  1. The Hindu- Political exploitation of Interpol notices
  2. Interpol- What is Interpol?
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