The Mysterious Interpol

October 8, 2018 China , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo



Ricardo Swire



INTERPOL is a global organization with a mission to facilitate cross border police co-operation, assist law enforcement organizations, authorities and services that prevent or combat international crime. It is considered the largest police cooperation body, comprised of one hundred and ninety member nations, with an annual budget of approximately US$95 million.


INTERPOL’s three sections, or the General Assembly, Executive Committee and General Secretariat, are managed by Meng Hongwei, a sixty-four year old Chinese former Vice Minister of Public Security. The General Assembly is INTERPOL’s internal oversight authority, Member nation representatives meeting annually. The Executive Committee is the action section made up of thirteen members who meet three times yearly.


The General Secretariat is INTERPOL’s administrative arm and functions in tandem with the General Assembly and Executive Committee. Authoritarian members’ collusion with criminal and/or terrorist networks contradicts trust and cooperation within INTERPOL. Officers’ loyalty to the multinational organization became more significant since the nexus caused by globalization and transnational crime that threatens traditional allegiances.


Disreputable INTERPOL members can access two kinds of law enforcement query tools. The first is I-24/7 or NCB-to-NCB information request system. Such technology allows an NCB to contact other NCBs and directly query multiple databases maintained by INTERPOL, without actually routing an official data request. Another available tool is the MIND/FIND network that allows a member country’s local law enforcement to access INTERPOL’s databases directly.


Disreputable members can use these tools together as a mechanism to target a country’s legitimate activists, journalists and political opponents under the guise of crime fighting. On Tuesday September 25, 2018 Hongwei, INTERPOL’s president of two years departed headquarters in Lyons southeast France arrived in his home country China and was not seen since.


INTERPOL employees are issued special passports to quicken deployment in emergencies. French police, under direction of the Public Prosecutor’s office in Lyons, have launched an official investigation, following the formal missing person’s report from his wife. She remains in Lyons with their children under security, after receiving phone and social media threats.


When the president was appointed In November 2016 Amnesty International and other human rights groups expressed strong concern Beijing would leverage his position to secretly go after Chinese dissidents residing overseas. INTERPOL top boss’ function is mainly ceremonial, with daily duties performed by the Organization’s Secretary-General and staff.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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