Fugitives are criminals on the run, and as such 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.
Sharing information about fugitives and bringing them back to face justice in the country where they committed the crime has been a core function of INTERPOL since our creation. It is even more important today in world where travel is so easy and crimes cross borders so fluidly.
We support member countries and other international entities to locate and arrest fugitives who cross international boundaries. We provide investigative support, deliver training, bring experts together and encourage sharing of best practice.
We also provide operational support and assistance to the searches for individuals wanted for serious international crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) by INTERPOL member countries, UN tribunals and the International Criminal Court.
INFRA – Operation to locate fugitives
Operation INFRA (International Fugitive Round-up and Arrest) brings together law enforcement officers from around the world to locate and arrest criminals who have fled their national jurisdiction.
Organized by INTERPOL, the operation focuses on serious cases, including fugitives wanted for crimes such as murder, child sexual abuse, people smuggling, fraud, corruption, drug trafficking, environmental crimes and money laundering.
Officers drawn from different countries work together in a special operations room, allowing them to work on their specific cases using INTERPOL’s databases and other tools and services. This set-up allows them to exploit the contacts and knowledge that they each have of their own criminal justice system.
The principles of teamwork and international cooperation that underpin the concept of INFRA contribute greatly to its success. Since INFRA launched in 2009, its annual operations have resulted in a total of 1,000 fugitives being located or arrested.
Red Notice – wanted persons
One of the main tools for tracking fugitives is the INTERPOL Red Notice, which is an alert to all countries to request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition.
INTERPOL support to EL PAcCTO
EL PAcCTO (Europe Latin America Assistance Program against Transnational Organized Crime) is an EU-funded 3-year project to create and develop a permanent mechanism for fugitive investigations across Latin America. Its partnership with INTERPOL involves Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Peru and has the following objectives:
- Develop a standing, dedicated region-wide fugitive investigations network to identify, prioritize and target high-risk criminals using INTERPOL Red and Blue Notices and Diffusions.
- Develop a mechanism to standardize, analyze and exchange data associated with high-risk criminals. Provide capacity building and training on fugitive investigations.
- Expand the use of INTERPOL global tools and services to improve international police cooperation
Broadening Analysis on Serious International Crimes (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.
By 2018, more than 270 individuals wanted for war crimes by various countries had been arrested in different parts of the world.
Hosted by INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support Sub Directorate (FIS) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the 7th Global Operational Symposium on Fugitives brought together specialized fugitive officers from INTERPOL member countries in order to exchange and review best practices in fugitive investigations, and work together on fugitive cases.
Representing the most important global event dedicated to fugitive investigations, the Symposium focuses on using the latest techniques and the power of international co-operation to locate and arrest international fugitives avoiding justice.