INTERPOL’s Blue Notices

Estlund Law, P.A.
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Estlund Law, P.A.

(author: Isabel Alcántara - J.D. candidate)

INTERPOL’s Red Notice is not the only alert that INTERPOL’s member countries use in their efforts to locate an alleged criminal. In fact, INTERPOL issues some notices to locate people who have not been charged with a crime. INTERPOL member countries might request a Blue Notice, for example, in hopes of locating a witness to a crime, or people related to an alleged offender. RNLJ has addressed Blue Notices before, here.

A Blue Notice was recently requested by NCB New Delhi (India’s National Central Bureau ) against the promoter of Winsome Diamonds, a Mumbia-based company that manufactures diamonds for export. The promoter, Mr. Jatin Mehta, is sought in connection with a dispute regarding a loan default.

The sequence of events that led to the Blue Notice request is somewhat unusual due to the fact that the NCB New Delhi previously requested a Red Notice against Mr. Mehta in 2018. The complainant alleged that:

“[Winsome Diamonds] purchased gold from three bullion banks abroad—Bank of Nova Scotia, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank—on the basis of guarantees from the Indian bank…and [supposedly] failed to make the payment for gold imported on the strength of the guarantees.”

Ultimately, INTERPOL refused to issue the Red Notice against Mr. Mehta.

Following INTERPOL’s decision to invalidate the Red Notice request, Indian authorities recently requested that a Blue Notice be circulated in Jatin Mehta’s name instead. INTERPOL’s denial of a Red Notice does not bar a member country from requesting a different type of notice in its place.

The Blue Notice could aid authorities in confirming Mr. Mehta’s location, but it does not contain a request or authorization for his arrest.

While this case appears to contain the element of a private, civil business dispute for failure to fulfill the terms of a contract, Indian authorities also believe that a criminal element exists in the case. Their utilization of a Blue Notice in furtherance of their investigation may allow authorities to track Mr. Mehta’s whereabouts, and it may ultimately lead to sufficient grounds for a Red Notice.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.

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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