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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's role

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-Red;
  • - 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.
Projects

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.

News
12 August 2014

Albanian fugitive targeted by INTERPOL arrested in Ecuador

LYON, France – The arrest and positive identification in Ecuador of Dritan Rexhepi, the subject of several INTERPOL Red Notices for internationally wanted individuals and a target of a global INTERPOL fugitive operation, has been hailed by the world police body following international cooperation via INTERPOL.   The Albanian national, aged 34, escap...
24 July 2014

INTERPOL supports renewed campaign to track remaining Rwandan genocide fugitives

KIGALI, Rwanda – On the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, a joint campaign of the United Nations, Rwanda, the US and INTERPOL to track down the remaining perpetrators will seek the public’s assistance in locating those responsible for the tragedy.Launched on 24 July in Kigali, Rwanda, the initiative involves the UN Mechanism for International Trib...
14 April 2014

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

KIGALI, Rwanda – Identifying ways for enhanced cooperation and information exchange to identify and prosecute individuals who continue to evade justice for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, is the focus of a three-day meeting in Kigali.Under the theme ‘Closing the Impunity Gap’, the three day (14 – 16 April) INTERPOL 6th International expe...
05 March 2014

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

LYON, France – A Slovak national wanted for rape has been arrested in Thailand following close collaboration between INTERPOL and its National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Bratislava and Bangkok.Jozef Polonec is the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, issued at the request of Slovakia when he fled the country after he wa...
17 January 2014

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

LYON, France – Enhancing fugitive investigations and developing best practice was the focus of a workshop at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters for officers from North Africa and the Middle East.The five-day (13 – 17 January) meeting brought together 24 officials dealing with international search requests and fugitives in order to better develo...
16 December 2013

INTERPOL requests public assistance to track international fugitives across Americas

LYON, France – INTERPOL is calling for the public’s assistance in helping to track down international fugitives linked to organized crime networks and wanted for offences including murder and drug trafficking.Operation Infra (International Fugitive Round Up and Arrest) Americas was launched in Costa Rica on 18 November, involving 46 countries and territor...
30 August 2013

ICTR Prosecutor recognizes INTERPOL for investigative support in apprehending Rwandan genocide fugitives

LYON, France – The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has commended INTERPOL for its ongoing and critical role in the location and apprehension of fugitives wanted in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide.Following the recent release of a manual on ‘The Tracking and Arrest of Fugitives from International Criminal Justice:...
16 August 2013

INTERPOL collaboration leads to extradition of Srebrenica massacre suspect

LYON, France – A suspect in mass killings at the time of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre has been extradited from Israel to Bosnia and Herzegovina following international collaboration via INTERPOL.The extradition of Aleksandar Cvetković followed a request by the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina investigating his alleged role as a member of a fi...
21 February 2013

Match-fixing suspect arrested following close police cooperation between Singapore and Italy via INTERPOL

LYON, France – A suspected international match-fixer wanted by Italian authorities and subject of a confidential INTERPOL Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, has been arrested in Milan following close cooperation between Italian and Singaporean Police working through their INTERPOL National Central Bureaus and INTERPOL Headquarters in Lyon,...
07 February 2013

Attempted murder suspect and INTERPOL target arrested by police in Russia

LYON, France – A Moldovan national wanted for attempted murder in Romania and the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice has been arrested by police in Russia.Vitalie Proca, who is accused of the attempted murder of a man in Bucharest, was arrested on Wednesday by officers with the Moscow Criminal Investigation Unit and the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NC...
12 January 2013

US fugitive and former Bout associate Chichakli arrest in Australia assisted by INTERPOL

LYON, France – Richard Ammar Chichakli, an alleged associate of arms dealer Viktor Bout and subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice issued at the request of US authorities for a range of offences including money laundering, fraud and conspiring to violate economic sanctions, has been arrested in Australia.Chichakli, a US – Syrian citizen, is alleged to have con...