Red Notices and INTERPOL: Who's on the List?

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Having recently read a few items regarding people who believe they may be Red Notice subjects, I think it's probably a good time to clarify the matter of Red Notice publication.

Anyone reading this blog probably knows that INTERPOL has its own website which includes a page for Red Notice subject searches.  What people often misunderstand is the fact that only a small percentage of Red Notices are made public on INTERPOL's website or anywhere else.

When an INTERPOL member country requests a Red Notice, it may also request that the Red Notice be posted on INTERPOL's website.  Many countries do just that for some of their Red Notices.  Many other Red Notices, however, are not publicized.  

While a Red Notice is not an arrest warrant, the reasons for not publishing a Red Notice are frequently the same as the reasons for not publicizing an arrest warrant.  If a person knows that he is wanted, he will likely limit his activities and travel.  Law enforcement and immigration officials will clearly have an easier time locating a Red Notice subject if he travels than if he stays hunkered down at home.

It is true that some Red Notice subjects can verify their status by conducting a simple online check. However, the absence of one's name on INTERPOL's website should not be confused with the absence of a Red Notice.