INTERPOL's Role in Member Countries - No Messrs. Thompson and Thomson

Explore:  INTERPOL Members

In the 2011 film version of The Adventures of Tintin:  the Secret of the Unicorn, part of the plot concerned two detectives who were "INTERPOL agents" investigating a crime.  The two detectives look very similar to one another and are portrayed as more or less bumbling, ineffective agents.  

This was an animated film, so some artistic license is to be expected, but it bears pointing out that INTERPOL does not send agents or detectives around the world investigating pickpockets (as in the film) or other crimes.  Rather, it receives information from the law enforcement agencies in INTERPOL member countries around the world and shares that information with other member countries to aid in the suspect's apprehension.  

When we hear about "U.S. INTERPOL" or "the Ethiopian INTERPOL office," we are hearing a reference to the liaison between that member country's National Central Bureau ("NCB") and INTERPOL, not to an office owned or operated by INTERPOL.

So it was with interest that I read yesterday that INTERPOL's agents in Mexico had gone missing while conducting an investigation.  Multiple media outlets reported that INTERPOL's investigating officials had left the city of Chihuahua on Monday and not reached their destination of Ciudad Juárez.  This would be odd, of course, when INTERPOL has no such officials.  

INTERPOL was quick to clarify that in Mexico, the NCB is under the authority of the Policía Federal Ministerial, a part of the Procuraduría General de la República, not INTERPOL.  Moreover, as reported here, Mexican officials have stated that not only are no INTERPOL officials missing, but no one at all is missing.

So, to be clear:  No Thompson and Thomson, no INTERPOL agents in Mexico, and no missing police officers in Mexico.  At all.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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