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Role of Interpol

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Important international institutions, agencies and fora-their structure, mandate etc


Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

Direction: One article from Hindu and other from Indian Express have been combined. You may go through it once. We also dealt with Interpol in FFP a few days back. Here we are examining its role.


Interpol Secretary said that the international criminal police organisation was not playing any role in curbing state-sponsored terrorism and that it focussed primarily on ordinary law crimes.


The mandate of Interpol:

Interpol is like the UN. But it is not meant for dispute resolution. It is designed to assist the police forces of member nations. Interpol is neither an investigative agency like the CBI nor a front-line police force. It is mandated to share information and provide back-end technical assistance to law enforcement agencies

Interpol deals with cases of Child abusers, Rapists, Murderers, Traffickers, Drug dealers, and Cybercriminals

  • Providing information: about crime and criminals in the digital space
  • Cyberspace: Preventing abuse of cyberspace
  • Dark web: Stalling hackers on the dark web


New tools being used by Interpol: 

  • Early warning system: Interpol had been developing a global early warning system for the collection and sharing of terrorism-related inputs.
  • Information of terrorists: Interpol had one of the biggest repositories of information related to foreign terrorist hideouts and tools.
    • It has a huge repository of fingerprints, DNA profiles, Facial recognition kits, Cyber-enabled financial crimes, and Property crimes, among others.
  • Interpol’s global stop-payment mechanism(an anti-money laundering rapid response protocol): It has helped the member countries recover more than $60 million(past 10 months).
  • Global Crime Trend Report(by Interpol): It highlighted the massive increase in online child sexual exploitation and abuse, which is only set to increase.
  • Interpol’s International Child Sexual Exploitation database: It helped investigators around the world identify an average of seven child abuse victims every day.
    • The success of its secure i-24 for 24/7 information sharing
  • Red Notice: It is not an international arrest warrant and Interpol could not force any member country to arrest a subject of the notice.
  • Interpol’s Singapore unit: It had been providing support to the member countries to develop a legal framework and come up with tools for tracking and seizing cryptocurrencies.
    • It was also collaborating with the Financial Action Task Force(FATF).


Way forward:

  • Beyond databases and tools: Interpol is required now to articulate an expansion beyond its databases and tools.
  • Real-time dissemination of information: The success of its secure i-24 for 24/7 information sharing aside, the importance of real-time dissemination of information should gain primacy.
  • Equitable significance: should be accorded to the legitimate interests of growing economies pursuing democratic charters.
  • Demographic dividend: A large and young technology-oriented workforce in startups can be utilized for upgrading the security architecture.
  • Interpol and law enforcement agencies of member nations: They must endeavour to build, maintain and operate a people-centric ecosystem to meet the evolving challenges.

Interpol is an intergovernmental organization, with 195 member (India been member since 1949) and founded in 1923 (Vienna, Austria) but with headquarters at Lyon (France). It works on the principle of one country, one vote. It launched Global Policing Goal (in 2018) to focus on collective efforts for the International law enforcement.

Insta Links:



Mains Links:

Q. What are the roles and functions of the International Criminal Police Organization? Discuss the significance of a Red notice and the changes the upcoming meeting in Delhi can bring.


Prelims Links:

  • What is Interpol?
  • Overview of Interpol’s crime programmes.
  • CBI

With reference to Interpol, consider the following statements:

  1. The President of Interpol is elected by the UNSC.
  2. RAW in India assumes contact with Interpol for coordination.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (d)


  • The head of Interpol: is the President who is elected by the General Assembly and holds office for four years.
  • Contact of the country’s law enforcement agency with Interpol: It is through the highest investigating body of the land.
    • The CBI assumes this role in India.