IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


24th February, 2024 International News


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Picture Courtesy: Reuters

Context: Interpol plays a crucial role in combating transnational crimes through its information-sharing network, but ongoing concerns persist regarding the potential misuse of its notice system, particularly blue corner notices, leading to questions about striking the right balance between facilitating police cooperation and preventing abuse, especially in targeting political refugees and dissidents.

About Interpol

  • Interpol, formally known as the International Criminal Police Organization, is an intergovernmental organization with 194 member countries.
  • Established in 1923, its primary objective is to facilitate international cooperation between national police forces in combating transnational crimes.


  • Information Sharing Network (I-24/7): Interpol operates a secure 24/7 communication channel that allows police forces worldwide to share information and resources for international crime investigations. This facilitates cross-border cooperation and improves investigative efficiency.
  • Issuing Notices: Interpol issues various alerts, known as notices, to inform member states about:
    • Missing Persons (Yellow Notice): Assists in locating individuals, often minors, who are reported missing.
    • Wanted Criminals (Red Notice): Requests the arrest and extradition of individuals convicted of serious crimes.
    • Individuals Linked to Criminal Activity (Blue Notice): Seeks information about individuals suspected of involvement in criminal activity, but not yet formally charged.
    • Unidentified Bodies (Black Notice): Provides details of unidentified bodies to facilitate identification and notification of family members.
    • Potential Threats (Green Notice): Warns about individuals posing a potential threat to public safety.
    • Stolen Objects (Orange Notice): Alerts authorities about objects like stolen vehicles or weapons linked to criminal activities.
    • Criminal Methods (Purple Notice): Shares information on the modus operandi (criminal methods) used by criminals to help law enforcement anticipate and prevent future crimes.
  • Training and Assistance: Interpol provides training programs and technical support to national police forces in various areas like forensics, cybercrime investigation, and counter-terrorism. This strengthens their capabilities to combat global crime threats.
  • International Cooperation: Interpol fosters collaboration and coordination between police forces in tackling complex cross-border crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism, and money laundering. This facilitates:
  • Joint investigations: Teams of investigators from various countries can collaborate to solve transnational crimes.
  • Asset recovery: Interpol assists in tracing and recovering stolen assets across borders.
  • Extradition processes: Interpol facilitates the extradition of individuals wanted for serious crimes between member countries.

India joined Interpol in 1949. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) serves as the National Central Bureau (NCB) for Interpol in India.

Criticisms and Concerns

  • Potential for Abuse: Some critics argue that certain notices, like the Blue Notice, can be misused by authoritarian governments to target political opponents or dissidents. This could potentially undermine trust in the system and hinder legitimate cooperation.
  • Lack of Supranational Authority: Interpol cannot enforce laws or arrest individuals within member states. Ultimately, decisions regarding acting upon notices rest with individual countries, limiting Interpol's direct intervention in cases of potential abuse.

Overall Impact

  • Combating Transnational Crimes: Interpol plays a significant role in tackling global crimes, making societies safer worldwide.
  • Promoting International Cooperation: Facilitates information sharing and collaboration, enabling a coordinated international response to transnational crimes.
  • Strengthening National Police Forces: Through training and assistance, Interpol helps national police forces enhance their investigative capabilities.

Addressing Challenges

  • Balancing cooperation: Striking the right balance between facilitating cooperation and preventing misuse of the notice system is an ongoing challenge.
  • Human rights concerns: Addressing concerns about potential human rights violations requires ongoing discussion, stricter controls on notice issuance, and robust oversight mechanisms.


  • Interpol remains a crucial player in combating transnational crime and fostering international cooperation in law enforcement. However, addressing the potential for abuse and ensuring human rights are upheld will be crucial for the organization's continued effectiveness in achieving its mission.


Q. Which of the following is NOT a function of Interpol?

A) Issuing notices about missing persons

B) Providing training and technical support to national police forces

C) Directly arresting individuals within member states

D) Facilitating information sharing between police forces globally

Answer: C

Explanation: While Interpol facilitates information sharing and collaboration, it cannot directly enforce laws or arrest individuals within member states. This authority remains with individual countries. (The answer is (c).)