Organized crime

Definitions of what constitutes organized crime vary widely from country to country. Organized networks are typically involved in many different types of criminal activity spanning several countries.

These activities may include trafficking in humans, illicit goods, weapons and drugs, armed robbery, counterfeiting and money laundering. Indeed, almost all the crimes areas that we tackle at INTERPOL have an organized aspect.

In this section we focus on three projects that were set up in response to very particular types of criminal network, each of which comes with its unique set of challenges.

These projects facilitate cooperation among our member countries and stimulate the exchange of information between all national and international enforcement bodies concerned with countering these problems.

Our aims within these projects are to:

  • Provide professional and technical expertise;
  • Collect, analyse and disseminate relevant police data;
  • Coordinate international investigations;
  • Identify, establish and maintain contact with experts in the field;
  • Publish manuals, handbooks and reports for investigators.

Additionally, we pursue strategic partnerships with other international organizations and institutions active in specific crime areas, and carry out joint projects on an international level.

25 June 2015

Official visit to INTERPOL by Frances Fitzgerald, Ireland’s Minister for Justice and Equality

LYON, France – Enhanced cooperation in combating transnational organized crime was high on the agenda during a visit of Ireland’s Minister for Justice and Equality to the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters today.Minister Frances Fitzgerald met with the INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock and other senior officials to discuss a range of issues i...
08 April 2015

INTERPOL meeting supports fight against drug trafficking across Africa

LYON, France – Identifying emerging smuggling routes and the role of counterfeit documents in drug trafficking across Africa is the focus of the INTERPOL meeting on Project Interflow.The two-day (8 and 9 April) annual working group meeting brings together some 70 drug investigation specialists from 30 countries as well as representatives from the World Cu...
24 March 2015

Enhancing cooperation in combating organized crime and terrorism focus of INTERPOL meeting

LYON, France – Identifying ways to enhance cooperation in combating organized crime and terrorism is the focus of the INTERPOL Heads of National Central Bureaus (NCBs) meeting this week.Bringing together some 265 senior police officials from 143 countries, the three-day (24 – 26 March) conference opened with INTERPOL President Mireille Ballestrazzi underl...
31 December 2014

Fakes worth EUR 37 million seized in INTERPOL coordinated operations across Europe

LYON, France – More than EUR 37 million worth of fake and illicit goods have been seized in a series of INTERPOL-coordinated operations involving 18 countries across Europe.As part of Operations White Mercury II and Black Poseidon III some 1,500 interventions were carried out in September and October resulting in the recovery of nearly 12 million fake ite...
15 December 2014

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

LYON, France – More than 27.5 tonnes of drugs have been seized in Operation Lionfish II, an INTERPOL-led initiative targeting the illicit trafficking of drugs and firearms by organized crime groups across Central America and the Caribbean. The seized drugs included cocaine, cannabis and heroin, with the cocaine haul alone valued at almost USD 1.3 billion....
12 September 2014

International jewel thief wanted via INTERPOL nabbed by Swiss police

LYON, France – A Chinese national, a suspect in jewellery thefts around the world and the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, was arrested in Switzerland during another attempted robbery.Jianguo Meng, aged 46, is linked to a string of at least 14 robberies or attempted robberies since 2012, including in Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, France, Germany, Malaysia,...
10 September 2014

Formal recognition of INTERPOL Travel Document underlines Kuwait’s commitment to global security

LYON, France – Kuwait’s commitment to international police cooperation has been underlined with the signing of a formal agreement recognizing the INTERPOL Travel Document at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon.Chief of Kuwait Police and Ministry of the Interior Under Secretary Lieutenant General Suleiman Fahad Al Fahad and INTERPOL Secre...
05 September 2014

Strengthening global fight against Latin American organized crime focus of INTERPOL meeting

CANCUN, Mexico – Addressing the increasingly global problem of Latin American Organized Crime (LAOC) was the focus of a working meeting, hosted by the Mexican authorities and INTERPOL.Bringing together 90 participants from 22 countries under the umbrella of INTERPOL’s Project Fortaleza, the three-day (2 – 4 September) meeting was aimed at supporting the o...
18 July 2014

Illegal gambling networks across Asia targeted in INTERPOL-led operation

LYON, France – An INTERPOL-coordinated operation targeting illegal soccer gambling networks across Asia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup has resulted in more than 1,400 arrests and the seizure of almost USD 12 million.During the six-week operation, law enforcement officers from China, Hong Kong (China), Macao (China), Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam carried...
25 June 2014

Kuwait requests INTERPOL Purple Notice after fake car parts used to smuggle drugs

LYON, France – The discovery of 20,000 illicit tablets hidden inside fake car parts has led to the issue of an INTERPOL Purple Notice at the request of Kuwait.The Tramadol tablets, which are illegal in Kuwait, were found during an investigation by the General Directorate for Combating Drugs when officers became suspicious of a parcel sent to an Egyptian n...
05 June 2014

Police and public unite behind INTERPOL campaign to #TurnBackCrime

#TurnBackCrime, INTERPOL’s campaign highlighting the dangers of organized and other forms of crime and their impact on everyday life is being rolled out around the world.While many people know that transnational organized crime networks are behind various forms of trafficking such as illicit goods, fake medicines, drugs, arms and even people, they are oft...
26 March 2014

Effectively tackling drug trafficking across Africa focus of INTERPOL meeting

LYON, France – Addressing drug trafficking and the diversion of chemical substances in Africa was the focus of INTERPOL’s Annual Working Group meeting of Project Interflow. Some 85 drug investigation specialists from 38 countries across Africa, the Americas, the Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, as well as Europol and the Maritime Analysis an...
05 March 2014

INTERPOL and International Organization for Migration agreement to enhance border security

GENEVA, Switzerland – An agreement between INTERPOL and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will see enhanced cooperation between the two bodies on border security to better combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling.Signed by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, the agreement formalise...
05 March 2014

Lack of oversight in cigarette components funds organized crime, warns INTERPOL Chief

LYON, France – INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble is warning that a lack of oversight in the cigarette component supply chain is being exploited by organized crime to make billions in illegal profits by producing billions of illicit cigarettes.Producers of acetate tow, a key component in cigarette filters, are exporting high volumes of their produ...
20 December 2013

Combating new trends in Latin American organized crime focus of INTERPOL project

BOGOTA, Colombia – A new project to more effectively tackle the growing and evolving crime issues linked to Latin American Organized Crime (LAOC) has been launched by INTERPOL.Proposed by Colombia, the initiative aims to address the new trends in LAOC through more focused intelligence sharing in order to identify potential links between the various organi...
17 December 2013

Security across Americas boosted through INTERPOL training programmes

HAVANA, Cuba – Enhancing regional cooperation in the fight against drugs and organized crime was the focus of the INTERPOL Evaluation Workshop of the Capacity Building Programmes in the Americas (11-13 December) which brought together some 30 delegates from 23 countries and territories across the Americas.The workshop was the last in a series of activitie...
22 November 2013

INTERPOL holds advanced training on criminal intelligence analysis in the Americas

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – Some 20 law enforcement officials from across the Caribbean attended an advanced criminal intelligence training session aimed at combating drug trafficking and organized crime activities in the region.The five-day course (18-22 November) is part of the INTERPOL Capacity Building Programme on Criminal Intelligence Analy...
23 September 2013

Korean arrest of INTERPOL Red Notice subject major blow to Chinese organized crime

SEOUL, Korea – One of China’s most wanted criminals and subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice for attempted murder and organized crime membership has been arrested in Seoul following months of intelligence work and operational cooperation between the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Seoul and Beijing.Chinese national Chuanbo Lu is believed to be on...
02 July 2013

Drugs worth nearly one billion dollars seized in INTERPOL-led operation across Central America and the Caribbean

LYON, France – Nearly 30 tonnes of cocaine, heroin and marijuana with an estimated value of USD 822 million have been seized in an INTERPOL-led operation targeting the maritime trafficking of drugs and illicit firearms by organized crime groups across Central America and the Caribbean.Operation Lionfish, coordinated by INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau for Centr...
19 June 2013

Police arrest high-level organized crime members in Italian-led action

LYON, France – An operation led by Italian law enforcement, supported by INTERPOL and Europol, targeting a Georgian criminal organization linked to the transnational Eurasian organized crime phenomenon of ‘Thieves in Law’ has led to the arrest of 19 suspects across Europe.During the operation on 18 June, police in six countries – Italy, Czech Republic, Fr...
28 May 2013

INTERPOL wins global award for ‘exceptional’ work in combating illicit trade and counterfeiting

LYON, France – The Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG) has named INTERPOL the 2013 winner of its International Public Body award for its ‘exceptional’ work towards combating the trafficking in illicit goods and counterfeiting.Announced on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards are made as a continuing recognition of speci...
24 May 2013

INTERPOL training to enhance analytical skills in the fight against drugs and organized crime in the Americas

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Some 20 law enforcement officials from the Caribbean have gathered in Barbados for a criminal intelligence training session focused on combating drug trafficking and transnational organized crime in the region.The two-week course (20 – 31 May), organized by INTERPOL with the support of the National Central Bureau in Bridgetown, is p...
10 May 2013

Bahamas hosts INTERPOL programme to enhance fight against organized crime in the Americas

NASSAU, Bahamas – The latest session in a three-year programme coordinated by INTERPOL to boost national law enforcement’s ability to fight drugs trafficking and organized crime across the Americas has opened in Nassau, Bahamas.Some 21 law enforcement officials involved in investigations into illicit drugs and transnational organized crime from across Cen...
23 November 2012

WCO and INTERPOL bolster fight against transnational organized crime

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Kunio Mikuriya, and the Secretary General of INTERPOL, Ronald K. Noble, met at WCO Headquarters today to reaffirm cooperation between the two organizations in their efforts to bolster the fight against transnational organized crime.INTERPOL and the WCO have a long history o...
17 October 2012

Spanish operation targeting criminal networks and money laundering supported by INTERPOL

MADRID, Spain – Nearly 80 people have been arrested across Spain and some EUR 10 million seized in an operation to break up criminal networks of Chinese origin involved in money laundering and other financial crimes.Operation Emperador, organized by the Spanish police with support from INTERPOL, saw more than 120 raids carried out on industrial zones, car...
01 April 2012

INTERPOL praises capture of mafia boss in Thailand

LYON, France – The detention in Bangkok of a man wanted in Italy for mafia-related criminal conspiracy and the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice for internationally-wanted persons has been praised by INTERPOL Chief Ronald K. Noble as an example of effective international police cooperation.Vito Roberto Palazzolo, aged 64, was stopped by the Royal Thai pol...
06 December 2011

Panama hosts first INTERPOL programme to boost fight against drugs and organized crime in Americas

PANAMA CITY, Panama – The first session of a three-year programme coordinated by INTERPOL to boost national law enforcement’s ability to fight drugs and organized crime across the Americas has opened in Panama.The two week course (5-16 December), organized by INTERPOL’s Capacity Building and Training Directorate, brings together 17 law enforcement officia...
09 May 2011

FIFA makes historic contribution to INTERPOL in long-term fight against match-fixing

ZURICH, Switzerland - Global efforts to prevent corruption in football today reached a milestone with the announcement that the world football’s governing body, FIFA, is to donate to INTERPOL the largest grant it has ever received from a private institution to create an unprecedented 10-year-programme worth EUR 20 million at a dedicated FIFA Anti-Corrupti...
15 December 2010

Tackling organized crime in South East Europe focus of police chiefs meeting at INTERPOL

LYON, France – Police chiefs from across South East Europe are gathering at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters to identify ways of strengthening co-operation to combat organized crime in the region.The meeting, which brings together more than 70 senior law enforcement officials from 25 countries in addition to representatives from international...
16 July 2010

Thousands arrested in INTERPOL-led operation against illegal soccer gambling networks across Asia

LYON, France – More than 5,000 people have been arrested and nearly 10 million US dollars seized in an INTERPOL co-ordinated operation in Asia run throughout the 2010 FIFA World Cup targeting illegal soccer gambling linked to organized crime gangs. In the month-long operation codenamed SOGA III, police across China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Malaysi...
17 June 2010

INTERPOL Chief calls for concerted global action against organized crime in UN address on 10th anniversary of Palermo Convention

NEW YORK – The head of the world’s largest police organization today stressed the need for global police collaboration and information sharing in his address to the Special High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on Transnational Organized Crime.INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that ‘in a world which has evolved dramatically since 200...
01 April 2010

INTERPOL supported operation targeting organized crime in South East Europe leads to heroin seizure and arrests

The first joint operation co-ordinated under INTERPOL project BESA targeting organized crime groups in South East Europe has resulted in the arrest of five men and the seizure of more than six kilos of heroin by police in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.The arrests in Strumica on Saturday 27 March follow close co-operation between police in the...