Red corner notices are of little use as the Interpol has no power to enforce such notices.
New Delhi: On the request of India, the Interpol—International Criminal Police Organization—recently added wanted criminal and gangster Goldy Brar on its Red Corner notice earlier this month, making him the 284th wanted person in India put on the red corner notice; but most often than not, these Red Corner notices have been found to be of little use as the Interpol has no power to enforce such notices and it acts as just a mere “post office” for law enforcement agencies to pass information of criminals at a global level.
Out of the total 284 people listed under the red corner notice with the Interpol and wanted by the Indian law enforcement agencies, hundreds of them feature on the same list for decades with no action being taken against them by their host countries either for extradition or for making an arrest.
Sample this. Wanted terrorist Hafeez Saeed, Masood Azhar, and Dawood Ibrahim are on the Interpol’s Red Corner notice for several decades, but no action has been taken against them, and neither are they extradited till date. Several other terrorists like Malkiat Singh, Harmeet Singh, Jagdeesh Singh, and Gurjinder Singh, among several others linked with the Khalistani movement, are also on the Red Corner notice for years and are reportedly living in the United States and Canada with no action being taken against them.
Even some economic fugitives like Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi have been put on the Red Corner notice for several years now. However, Nirav Modi has been arrested by the United Kingdom, but yet to be extradited to India, Mehul Choksi still remains free.
Former Commissioner of Delhi Police Neeraj Kumar told The Sunday Guardian that the Red Corner notices are not binding on the member countries to make arrests and they are mere requests that are made to the global police community to trace and detain or arrest persons who are listed under the Red Corner notice.
“On reasons for no extradition or action on persons like you mentioned above is because the Red Corner notice is not binding on the member countries to take action. The countries in which these criminals or fugitives are staying believe that the named individuals have done no wrong and, therefore, no action should be taken against them. For example, Hafeez Saeed, Masood Azhar, etc are in Pakistan and you cannot expect Pakistan to arrest them and send them to India. As far as Khalistani terrorists are concerned, countries like Canada and the US believe that it is a political issue and that they are wanted in India for political reasons,” Neeraj Kumar told this newspaper.
Former Delhi Police Commissioner Kumar further added that even though it could be fair to call the Interpol a “toothless body”, it would be completely wrong to call the Interpol as a “useless body” as a Red Corner notice issued by them is the first step towards extradition of a wanted criminal.
“It is through a Red Corner notice that the global law enforcement agencies are intimated to trace an individual who is wanted. It is the Red Corner notice that will lead to arrest or detention of a fugitive. But then, as I said, it depends on country to country and case to case on what action the member country would take on the Red Corner request,” Kumar said.
Former IG of Punjab Police, C. Pal Singh, speaking to The Sunday Guardian, also reiterated that the Interpol’s Red Corner notices are only requests for cooperation from the member countries and do not have any further powers. “Interpol notices are only requests for cooperation from member countries. Different types of notices are issued by Interpol to seek cooperation and coordination from member countries, but there is no possibility that this shall result in any immediate action,” C. Pal Singh told this newspaper.
Singh further added, “Any individual subject to an Interpol notice cannot be considered guilty unless he’s proven to be guilty. Interpol notices seek only intensive cooperation regarding police work. In other words, Interpol’s goal is to help police forces worldwide in solving their crimes by providing global cooperation.”
The Interpol. also in an email reply to The Sunday Guardian, said that Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant. It is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.
“Each member country decides what legal value it gives to a Red Notice and the authority of their law enforcement officers to make an arrest. Most countries will not extradite their own nationals, and as the purpose of a Red Notice is to request the arrest and extradition of an individual, national authorities will not usually arrest the individual. However, if that individual travels to another country, the national authorities there may decide to act on the Red Notice request. A Red Notice can, therefore, act as a ‘tripwire’ for fugitives attempting to evade justice,” the Interpol’s press office told this newspaper.
This also makes many law enforcement agencies think that the Interpol, although an important organisation for extradition, acts merely as a “post office” for global agencies to pass on information at the global level.
The Interpol has 195 countries as its members and is headquartered in France and works for international police cooperation.