Interpol Clearance

The term ‘INTERPOL Clearance’ is often used but is misleading. INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, facilitates police cooperation among its 194 member countries but does not offer a service called ‘INTERPOL Clearance.’ This clarification is crucial for a proper understanding of INTERPOL-related matters.

At the center of this misunderstanding is the concept of INTERPOL’s Red Notices. A Red Notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. It is based on a valid national arrest warrant and is issued at the request of a member country. It’s important to note that a Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant, and INTERPOL lacks the authority to compel member countries to arrest the individual named in a Red Notice.

Interpol clearance is a process in which INTERPOL notifies its member countries about an individual wanted for extradition, based on an Interpol Red Notice. The Red Notice contains information about the individual’s alleged crimes and last known whereabouts. Member countries are obligated to extradite individuals subject to Interpol Red Notices. To obtain Interpol clearance, an individual must first be placed on an Interpol Red Notice, which can be initiated by INTERPOL or by a member country issuing an extradition request. It’s essential to consult with extradition lawyers to understand how to avoid extradition once an individual is on an Interpol Red Notice.

How to Get an Interpol Background Check

Obtaining an INTERPOL background check isn’t straightforward. INTERPOL, as an international organization, doesn’t typically provide individual criminal record checks directly to people. This is because INTERPOL primarily supports national law enforcement agencies by facilitating data sharing on crimes and criminals.

For employment or visa-related background checks, local or national law enforcement agencies usually handle the process, accessing INTERPOL’s databases as needed for their investigations. The specific procedure varies by country.

There are several reasons why individuals can’t request an INTERPOL background check directly. Firstly, INTERPOL primarily assists member countries’ law enforcement agencies, not individuals. Secondly, data privacy laws restrict access to such information. Lastly, while INTERPOL maintains criminal activity databases, these are shared with and provided by member countries’ law enforcement agencies, subject to restrictions. As a result, private individuals typically cannot directly access this information from INTERPOL.

Interpol Clearance Certificate

The term “INTERPOL Clearance Certificate” has caused confusion. It implies a document from INTERPOL that clears an individual of criminal charges, but such a certificate does not exist.

INTERPOL’s primary role is to assist law enforcement agencies in member countries with investigations, not to certify individuals’ criminal status. For visa or employment-related certificates, individuals should contact local or national law enforcement agencies that maintain criminal records and conduct background checks. It’s important to understand INTERPOL’s actual role in international law enforcement cooperation, given the misconception about “INTERPOL Clearance Certificates.”

Data Deletion from INTERPOL’s Databases

Requesting data removal from INTERPOL’s databases upholds the organization’s commitment to human rights and political neutrality. This data includes information like Red Notices and other alerts issued by member countries.

Individuals or their legal representatives can request data removal from the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF), an independent body. They should explain why the data should be deleted, providing evidence if possible.

Data can be removed if the CCF finds it violates INTERPOL’s rules, including politically motivated Red Notices or data with errors or no legal basis. The CCF’s decision is implemented by the General Secretariat, but the process can be lengthy, with uncertain outcomes, so seeking legal advice is advisable.

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Interpol Lawyer Dmytro Konovalenko
Dmytro Konovalenko
Senior Partner
Lawyer specializing in extradition and Interpol cases, with membership in the International Bar Association. In five years of practice, Dmitry has defended clients against persecution by law enforcement agencies in the United States, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. He has successfully applied measures to prevent a manhunt at early stages and specializes in defending in complex cases involving economic, political and military charges.
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