#INTERPOL: Enhancing fugitive investigations focus of INTERPOL meeting

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Specialized officers from INTERPOL member countries are meeting to review and enhance best practices in international fugitive investigations.

Participants at the 7th Global Operational Symposium on Fugitives will in particular review high priority fugitive and ‘cold’ crime cases, and look to shape a strong network of fugitive investigators from around the world.

The four-day (5 – 8 December) meeting brings together 100 officials from some 70 countries dealing with international search requests and fugitives in order to better develop their understanding of INTERPOL’s global capabilities, such as the publication of Notices.

They will focus on the latest techniques and the role of information sharing and international cooperation to locate and arrest international fugitives avoiding justice.

One of INTERPOL’s 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 INTERPOL member countries. Red notices contain identification details and judicial information on a wanted person.

In this respect a Jamaican national targeted by his country under a Red Notice on charges of robbery, attempted murder and wounding with intent was arrested in New York last month by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

The symposium will enable participants to exchange experiences on case studies and address a range of topics including electronic surveillance, extraditions and initiatives such as INTERPOL’s Infra (International Fugitive Round up and Arrest) series of operations. Infra brings together law enforcement officers regionally and worldwide to locate and arrest criminals who have fled their national jurisdiction.

The nine Infra operations since 2009 have to date led to the arrest of more than 540 individuals, with almost another 300 positively located, for crimes including drugs and firearms trafficking, sexual offences, people smuggling and environmental crime.

Hosted by the Jamaica Constabulary Force and INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit, the fugitives symposium represents one of the world’s foremost events dedicated to fugitive investigations.

Commissioner George Quallo from the Jamaica Constabulary Force said: “The Jamaica Constabulary Force pledges its continued support and collaboration with INTERPOL. This fugitive symposium is very timely and comes at a time when technological advances make it easy for transnational crimes to flourish and criminals fleeing law enforcement to move across borders and territories. Jamaica will continue to exercise vigilance and implement appropriate operational responses to help curtail this activity.”

With INTERPOL’s global databases now queried almost 200 times every second, these have become amongst the key capabilities the Organization provides its member countries to prevent and investigate crime.

The Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s fugitives unit, Ioannis Kokkinis, said: “Fugitives are mobile and opportunistic, for them there are no borders. This operational meeting is an important opportunity for member countries to work together to locate and arrest international fugitives, using the latest techniques and the power of international cooperation via INTERPOL.”

In this respect INTERPOL’s Command and Coordination Centre offers a point of contact for any member country seeking urgent police information on crimes and investigations, or facing a crisis situation.

The Organization also continues to push for greater expansion of its I-24/7 secure police communications system so as to reach the frontlines of policing across the globe, ensuring the timely availability of information.



Robert Williams

Editor in Chied

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