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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL
Common name Interpol
Abbreviation ICPO
Interpol logo.png
Logo of the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL.
Agency overview
Formed 1923
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
International agency
Countries 188 member states
Governing body Interpol General Assembly
Constituting instrument ICPO-INTERPOL Constitution and General Regulations
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters France 200, quai Charles de Gaulle, Lyon, France
Agency executives
National Central Bureaus 187
Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France.

Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL,[1] is an organization facilitating international police cooperation. It was established as the International Criminal Police Commission in 1923 and adopted its telegraphic address as its common name in 1956.

Its membership of 188 countries provides finance of around $59 million through annual contributions. The organization's headquarters are in Lyon, France. It is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations.

Its current Secretary-General is Ronald Noble, formerly of the United States Treasury. Jackie Selebi, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, was president from 2004 but resigned on 13 January 2008, later being charged in South Africa on three counts of corruption and one of defeating the course of justice. He was replaced by Arturo Herrera Verdugo, current National Commissioner of Policía de Investigaciones de Chile and former vice president for the American Zone, who remained acting president until the organization meeting in October 2008,[2] and was subsequently replaced by Commissioner of Police Singapore Police Force, Khoo Boon Hui.

In order to maintain as politically neutral a role as possible, Interpol's constitution forbids its involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries,[3] or in any political, military, religious, or racial crimes.[4] Its work focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, organized crime, crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, Piracy, illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption.

In 2008, the Interpol General Secretariat employed a staff of 588, representing 84 member countries. The Interpol public website received an average of 2.2 million page visits every month. Interpol issued 3,126 red notices for the year 2008 which led to the arrest of 718 people.[5]



Interpol was founded in Austria in 1923 as the International Criminal Police (ICP). Following the Anschluss (Austria's annexation by Nazi Germany) in 1938, the organization fell under the control of Nazi Germany and the Commission's headquarters were eventually moved to Berlin in 1942. It is unclear, however, if and to what extent the ICPC files were used to further the goals of the Nazi regime. However, from 1938 to 1945, the presidents of Interpol included Otto Steinhäusl (a general in the SS), Reinhard Heydrich (a general in the SS, and chair of the Wannsee Conference that appointed Heydrich the chief executor of the "Final solution to the Jewish question"), Arthur Nebe (a general in the SS, and Einsatzgruppen leader, under whose command at least 46,000 people were killed), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (a general in the SS, the highest ranking SS officer executed after the Nuremberg Trial).

After the end of World War II in 1945, the organization was revived as the International Criminal Police Organization by European Allies of World War II officials from Belgium, France, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Its new headquarters were established in Saint-Cloud, a town on the outskirts of Paris. They remained there until 1989, when they were moved to their present location, Lyon.


Each member country maintains a National Central Bureau (NCB) staffed by national law enforcement officers. The NCB is the designated contact point for the Interpol General Secretariat, regional bureau and other member countries requiring assistance with overseas investigations and the location and apprehension of fugitives. This is especially important in countries with many law-enforcement agencies. This central bureau is a unique point of contact for foreign entities, which may not understand the complexity of the law-enforcement system of the country they attempt to contact. For instance, the NCB for the United States of America is housed at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The NCB then ensures the proper transmission of information to the correct agency.

Interpol maintains a large database charting unsolved crimes and both convicted and alleged criminals. At any time, a member nation has access to specific sections of the database and its police forces are encouraged to check information held by Interpol whenever a major crime is committed. The rationale behind this is that drug traffickers and similar criminals have international ties, and so it is likely that crimes extend beyond political boundaries.

In 2002, following United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 passed in the aftermath of September 11, Interpol began maintaining a database of lost and stolen identification and travel documents, allowing member countries to be alerted to the true nature of such documents when presented. Passport fraud, for example, is often performed by altering a stolen passport; in response, several member countries have worked to make online queries into the stolen document database part of their standard operating procedure in border control departments. As of early 2006, the database contained over ten million identification items reported lost or stolen, and is expected to grow more as more countries join the list of those reporting into the database.

Member states and sub-bureaus

Sub-bureaus shown in italics.

 American Samoa
 Antigua and Barbuda
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 British Virgin Islands
 Burkina Faso
 Cape Verde
 Cayman Islands
 Central African Republic
 Republic of the Congo
 Congo (Democratic Rep.)
 Costa Rica
 Côte d'Ivoire

 Czech Republic
 Dominican Republic
 East Timor
 El Salvador
 Equatorial Guinea
 Hong Kong
 Republic of Korea

 Marshall Islands
 Netherlands Antilles
 New Zealand
 Papua New Guinea
 Puerto Rico

 St. Kitts and Nevis
 St. Lucia
 St. Vincent and the Grenadines
 São Tomé and Príncipe
 Saudi Arabia
 San Marino
 Sierra Leone
 South Africa
 Sri Lanka
 Trinidad and Tobago
 Turks and Caicos
 United Arab Emirates
 United Kingdom
 United States
 Vatican City

Secretaries-general and presidents

Secretaries-general since organization's inception in 1923:

Austria Oskar Dressler to 1946
France Louis Ducloux to 1951
France Marcel Sicot to 1963
France Jean Népote to 1978
France André Bossard to 1985
United Kingdom Raymond Kendall to 2000
United States Ronald Noble since 2000

Presidents since organization's inception in 1923:

Austria Johann Schober to 1932
Austria Franz Brandl to 1934
Austria Eugen Seydel to 1935
Austria Michael Skubl to 1938
Nazi Germany Otto Steinhäusl to 1940
Nazi Germany Reinhard Heydrich to 1942
Nazi Germany Arthur Nebe to 1943
Nazi Germany Ernst Kaltenbrunner to 1945
Belgium Florent Louwage to 1956
Portugal Agostinho Lourenço to 1960
United Kingdom Richard Jackson to 1963
Finland Fjalar Jarva to 1964
Belgium Firmin Franssen to 1968
West Germany Paul Dickopf to 1972
Canada William Leonard Higgitt to 1976
Sweden Carl Persson to 1980
Philippines Jolly Bugarin to 1984
United States John Simpson to 1988
France Ivan Barbot to 1992
Canada Norman Inkster to 1994
Sweden Björn Eriksson to 1996
Japan Toshinori Kanemoto to 2000
Spain Jesús Espigares Mira to 2004
South Africa Jackie Selebi to 2008
Chile Arturo Herrera Verdugo acting president until the General Assembly in Saint Petersburg in October 2008, and candidate for the President on that General Assembly
Singapore Khoo Boon Hui since Oct 2008

Non-member countries

 Solomon Islands
 Federated States of Micronesia
 North Korea
 Taiwan (Republic of China)

See also


External links

Coordinates: 45°46′56″N 4°50′54″E / 45.78219°N 4.84838°E / 45.78219; 4.84838


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:



Proper noun




  1. Commonly used name for the International Criminal Police Organization, an international organization facilitating police cooperation.


Simple English

This article is about the International Criminal Police Organization. For other meanings, see Interpol (disambiguation)

Interpol is the short form of International Criminal Police Organization. It began in 1923, and at that time its name was International Criminal Police Commission. In 1956, its name became International Criminal Police Organization. The word Interpol was a short form of International Criminal Police Organization. This short form served as the address to receive telegrams. Slowly, the name of this international organization became famous as Interpol. Now, Interpol is the second biggest international organization; the United Nations is the first. Some important information about Interpol:

  • Present Headquarters: Lyon, France
  • Previous Headquarters: Saint Cloud, a town located near Paris
  • Total members: 184 countries
  • Annual expenses: more than 30 million Euros - all member countries share the expenses



In 1923, Interpol begun its functioning from Austria. At that time, its name was International Criminal Police Commission (ICPM). During the Second World War, Nazi Germany controlled Austria. ICPM also came under Nazi control. They used it for collecting many types of information. After the Second World War, senior military men of Belgium, France, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom made many changes in ICPM. Thereafter, ICPM started to work in its new form.


The Interpol General Secretariat is the main office of Interpol. The highest-ranking officer of Interpol is the president. Just below him, there is a secretary general. In 2001, about 384 persons from 54 countries worked in this secretariat. Earlier the working time was from 9 o’clock in the morning till 5 o’clock in the evening. Now, this secretariat works all 24 hours without any break. In 2001, Interpol could help in arresting or finding out about 1400 persons, generally criminals.


Interpol does not take any political side in its work. It takes cases where the crime or the matter relates to more than one country. It looks after many types of cases. Some of them are note below:

Over the years, Interpol has developed a method of its working. Each member country keeps a special office. The name of this office in every member country is National Central Bureau (NCB). If necessary, Interpol contacts this office for getting information or for any other action. In turn, the National Central Bureau gets in touch with Interpol (on behalf of the member country) to ask for any assistance.

Interpol also has collected a large data about criminals and crimes. Such information includes information about illegal drug trade, lost and stolen passports and visas. Member countries may use the information. Officers of Interpol do not directly conduct any enquiry or investigation. This is always done through the policemen of the member country.

Interpol in culture

  • Interpol has attracted attention of writers and film directors. The organization has been depicted in many books, movies, and TV serials.

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