Interpol Red Notice Case Study

The Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s files (CCF) is responsible for ensuring that the processing of data in INTERPOL’s files meets the organisation’s applicable legal requirements. We present a summary of a case from 2017 in which the CCF reviewed a request to delete an INTERPOL Red Notice.


The facts

  • The Applicant is a national of Country B
  • He is the subject of a Red Notice issued by the National Central Bureau (NCB) of Country A for “Uttering unfunded cheques”, on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Country A.
  • The summary of facts, as recorded in the Red Notice, is as following: “On …, the Applicant was arrested at his home by the authorities of country B, on the basis of the Red Notice and following the reception of a formal extradition request from Country A. He was later released on conditional bail, pending the outcome of the extradition proceedings. On…, Country B’s courts denied the extradition of the Applicant to Country A.”


The Applicant’s request

The Applicant requested the deletion of the data concerning him registered in INTERPOL’s files, contending that:

  • The case was not of a criminal nature but rather of a civil nature, in contradiction with Article 83 of INTERPOL’s Rules on the Processing of Data (RPD).
  • Country B’s authorities had denied his extradition to Country A, and the authorities of Country A had not demonstrated genuine extradition efforts and diligence.
  • As Country B’s authorities recognised the risks that his human rights would be violated upon surrender to Country A, the Red Notice contradicted Article 2 of INTERPOL’s Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which it refers.


The Commission’s findings

The Commission reviewed the Applicant’s contentions in the order described above.


Lack of criminal character

The Commission:

  • Found that although the offence of “uttering unfunded cheques” is clearly a criminal offence under Country A’s national laws, such acts would probably not be recognised as an extraditable offence in many other national systems.
  • Recalled that under Article 35 of the RPD any data recorded in INTERPOL’s files must be “of interest for the purposes of international police cooperation”, and that in practice it was unlikely that the offence in question would lead to actual international police cooperation.


Extradition issues

The Commission found that there was not significant evidence to suggest that the NCB of Country A did not have a genuine interest in obtaining the extradition of the Applicant.


Compliance with human rights

The Commission noted that Country B’s court, authenticated by the NCB of Country B, denied the extradition of the Applicant to Country A, on the basis of the risks that he would be submitted to inhuman/degrading treatment in the context of his detention and that he would face an unfair trial.


The result

In light of the aforementioned circumstances, the Commission found that the data challenged were not compliant with Article 2 of INTERPOL’s Constitution and rules applicable to the processing of personal data, and that they shall be deleted from INTERPOL’s files.

Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in INTERPOL-related criminal investigations and is experienced in having Red Notices successfully removed.

Contact us if you require assistance.