Back to focus index

CIAO Focus, September 2011: INTERPOL and Transnational Crime

The International Criminal Police organization, more commonly know by its acronym INTERPOL, is a global network of police organizations aimed at combating and preventing transnational crime.  Established in 1923, INTERPOL is comprised of 188 member countries and currently headquartered in Lyon, France with seven regional offices situated in Argentina, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Kenya, Thailand and Zimbabwe. In addition, both the United Nations in New York and at the European Union in Brussels house representative offices. INTERPOL is the world’s largest international organization in terms of member countries after the United Nations.  It is supported entirely through annual contributions made by member countries. As of 2011, INTERPOL’s operating budget is 49.64 million Euros. 

In an effort to maintain neutrality, INTERPOL is not permitted to intervene in matters that are political, military, religious or racial in character.  Its primary mission is to facilitate international police cooperation, acting within the limits of existing laws of different countries and in deference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  INTERPOL’s activities focus on crimes pertaining mainly to: corruption, narcotics, criminal organizations, piracy, cyber crimes, human trafficking, and terrorism.  At the request of the International Criminal Court, INTERPOL recently issued Red Notices for the apprehension of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and former director of military intelligence Abdullah Al-Senussi.

Robert Sedgwick
Editor, CIAO


From the CIAO Database:

Transnational Organized Crime

Transnational Organized Crime and the Palermo Convention: A Reality Check

Corruption and Human Trafficking

Drug Trafficking and Middle Eastern Terrorist Groups: A Growing Nexus?

Fighting Online Crime

The Cybersecurity Agenda: Mobilizing for International Action


Outside Sources: *


Interpol: An Overview and Factsheet

International Criminal Court

Interpol 'Red Notice' issued for Gaddafi (Video)   

Interpol: Annual Report 2010

Interpol: Connecting Police, Securing the World

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine.