INTERPOL’s Expanding Reach, Use, and Consequences: A Global Survey of Abuse Techniques by Some INTERPOL member countries and Effective Response Strategies

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Saturday, May 22, 2021
By Michelle Estlund* and Adriana Obeso**

The International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL, is an international organization dedicated in large part to aiding its 194 member countries in detecting and extraditing fugitives to face criminal charges or serve sentences. Its member countries each have access to INTERPOL’s databases as needed to assist in finding criminal suspects and convicts. INTERPOL accepts, maintains, and circulates the personal data of a wanted person until he or she is captured.[1]

            Rather than addressing the basic functioning of INTERPOL and its databases,[2] the aim of this article is to focus on cases wherein INTERPOL’s member countries have abused their access to those databases; the most common types of charges alleged in abusive cases; and strategies that practitioners can utilize to increase their likelihood of success in cases of INTERPOL abuse.


*Michelle Estlund is the founder and principal attorney of Estlund Law, P.A., located in Miami, Florida. Her practice focuses exclusively on criminal and INTERPOL defense cases, with an emphasis on the exposure of human rights violations and politically motivated and corrupt prosecutions. The majority of the charges faced by her clients are “white collar,” or financial crimes.


**Adriana Obeso is a BA candidate at the University of Chicago double majoring in Economics with a focus in Business, and Public Policy Studies.


[1] Data in INTERPOL’s databases is subject to an expiration date that is relatively easily renewed.

[2] The fundamental characteristics and workings of INTERPOL have been well-presented in other articles such as the

AILA Law Journal article by Theodore Bromund and Sandra Grossman on "Challenging a Red Notice: What Immigration Attorneys Need to Know About Interpol.” The article is available online at