Fugitive investigations

Fugitives pose a serious threat to public safety worldwide. They are mobile (often travelling between countries on stolen or fraudulent travel documents), and opportunistic, frequently financing their continued flight from the law through further criminal activities.

Fugitives also undermine the world’s criminal justice systems. They may have been charged with a violation of the law but not been arrested. They may have been released on bail and then fled to avoid prosecution or perhaps they have escaped from prison. When fugitives flee, cases are not adjudicated, convicted criminals fail to meet their obligations, and crime victims are denied justice.


INTERPOL provides proactive and systematic assistance to member countries and other international entities in order to locate and arrest fugitives who cross international boundaries. Activities include:

  • - Providing investigative support to member countries in international fugitive investigations;
  • - Developing and implementing focused initiatives such as Operation Infra;
  • - Coordinating international cooperation in the field of fugitive investigations;
  • - Delivering training and conferences;
  • - Collating and disseminating best practice and expert knowledge;
  • - Providing operational support and assistance to the searches for individuals wanted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by INTERPOL member countries, UN tribunals and the International Criminal Court.

Rwandan Genocide Fugitives Project

The Rwandan Genocide Fugitives Project was set up in 2004 with the Rwandan National Prosecution Service and the ICTR to target the outstanding fugitives wanted by these two bodies. Since then, more than 40 fugitives who were the subjects of INTERPOL Red Notices have been arrested.

INTERPOL supports initiatives to track down and arrest the nine remaining fugitives still wanted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UN-ICTR) who represents a top priority for the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (UN-MICT).

Project Basic

Project Basic (Broadening Analysis on Serious International Crimes) targets fugitives wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Within this framework, INTERPOL cooperates with national authorities and international institutions to locate, arrest and develop information concerning individuals suspected of these crimes. 

In 2013, more than 50 individuals wanted for war crimes by various countries were arrested or located in different parts of the world. 

Red Notices for wanted persons

One of our most powerful tools in tracking international fugitives is the Red Notice. This seeks the provisional arrest of a wanted person with a view to extradition and is circulated to police in all our member countries. Red notices contain identification details and judicial information about the wanted person.

23 June 2016

INTERPOL calls for public’s help in operation targeting people smugglers

30 March 2016

Internationally wanted paedophile behind bars thanks to swift police action by Cambodia and Belgium via INTERPOL

25 March 2016

INTERPOL global resources supporting Brussels terror probe

23 February 2016

INTERPOL and Europol take steps against organized crime behind migrant smuggling

16 November 2015

INTERPOL-UNEP conference to tackle most pressing environmental crime issues

12 November 2015

Global security needs to align with today’s threats – INTERPOL Chief at migration summit

16 October 2015

INTERPOL-Europol forum outlines steps against people smuggling

15 October 2015

INTERPOL-Europol forum targets migrant smuggling networks

09 October 2015

China visit by INTERPOL Chief focuses on international police collaboration

08 September 2015

Senior Chinese official and INTERPOL Chief meet on international police collaboration

06 May 2015

Internationally wanted match-fixing suspect in Italian custody

16 February 2015

Nepal’s top wildlife criminal nabbed in Malaysia

15 December 2014

INTERPOL operation in Central America and the Caribbean nets almost 30 tonnes of drugs

10 December 2014

Suspected illegal ivory trader targeted in INTERPOL operation arrested in Zambia

17 November 2014

INTERPOL seeks public assistance to locate environmental crime fugitives in global operation

12 August 2014

Albanian fugitive targeted by INTERPOL arrested in Ecuador

24 July 2014

INTERPOL supports renewed campaign to track remaining Rwandan genocide fugitives

14 April 2014

'Closing the Impunity Gap’ focus of INTERPOL genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity meeting in Rwanda

05 March 2014

International collaboration via INTERPOL leads to arrest in Thailand of fugitive rapist

17 January 2014

Enhancing fugitive investigations focus of INTERPOL workshop for North Africa and Middle East