To prevent any potential misuse of INTERPOL’s channels in relation to the targeting of individuals within or beyond the conflict in Ukraine, heightened supervision and monitoring measures in relation to Russia have now been implemented by the international policing organization’s Secretary General, a decision which was endorsed by the Executive Committee.
Member countries may request cooperation from each other through another alert mechanism known as a ‘diffusion’. This is less formal than a notice and is circulated directly by an National Central Bureau (NCB) to all or some INTERPOL member countries.
Effective immediately, diffusions can no longer be sent directly by NCB Moscow to member countries. NCB Moscow must now send all diffusions to the General Secretariat to be checked for compliance with INTERPOL’s Rules. Only if a diffusion is found compliant will the General Secretariat then disseminate it to member countries. This procedure is in addition to the General Secretariat’s current process of reviewing all Notice requests for compliance.
Additional measures may be taken on an urgent basis by the Secretary General if the need arises.
INTERPOL’s rules state that each member country maintains full control over the information they decide to share with other countries via INTERPOL. This includes the restriction of access to its data.
Similarly, a decision by a member country whether to act on a request via INTERPOL, is exclusively at the discretion of the competent national authorities.
Preventing any member country from sharing vital policing information would provide criminals with clear opportunities to both commit crimes and evade capture, creating a gap in global security and safety.
Calls at the political level have been made to suspend or exclude Russia from the INTERPOL network. In parallel, law enforcement leaders from around the world have also requested continued cooperation with Russia via INTERPOL, highlighting serious security and safety concerns if information sharing is stopped.
In addition to the tragic loss of life, conflicts invariably lead to an increase in crime, with organized crime groups looking to exploit the desperation of individuals seeking safety, with an increased risk of abuse and trafficking, in addition to weapons smuggling and trafficking in illicit goods and medicines.
Checks against INTERPOL’s databases at control points along the Ukrainian border have already resulted in the identification of individuals wanted by four different countries for a range of offenses.
Every minute, nearly 9,000 checks are made against INTERPOL’s global databases and more than 30 messages are exchanged between police worldwide using its secure global police communications system. So far in 2022, nearly 60,000 checks have been made by member countries against data supplied by Russia.