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What is it?:

INTERPOL is the International Criminal Police Organization, created in 1923 as the International Criminal Police to further cross-border cooperation when it came to solving crimes. INTERPOL aims to get investigations over jurisdictional hurdles even when countries do not have diplomatic relations with one another. INTERPOL is completely apolitical and is headquartered in Lyon, France. The money for operations comes from the member states.

Who are members?:

There are 187 members in INTERPOL, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. (To see a complete list, click here.) The following countries are not members: Samoa, Palau, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and North Korea. The following regions are sub-bureaus: Bermuda, Gibraltar, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Hong Kong and Macao.

What crimes does INTERPOL investigate?:

Drug trafficking, organized crime, financial and high-tech crimes including counterfeiting and money laundering, public safety and terrorism, human trafficking, corruption, environmental crimes and crimes against humanity. In addition, INTERPOL's Fugitive Investigation Service keeps an eye out for suspects globally with its Red Notice alerts that notify member states when one nation has issued an arrest warrant for a suspect.

INTERPOL's core functions:

These are to secure global police communication services, provide data services and databases (including DNA, fingerprints, and other information on criminals) for police, provide members with a 24/7 Command and Control Center that can dispatch an Incident Response Team in case of a serious crime or disaster, and provide police training to member countries.

Dark history:

The International Criminal Police, founded in Austria in 1923, came under Nazi control after the Anschluss in 1938. Four Nazis served as the organization's president until 1945, when the Allies resurrected the organization as International Criminal Police Organization and established the headquarters of the new group in France.

Current leaders:

Singapore's Khoo Boon Hui is president, while Ronald Noble, who used to be in charge of the U.S. Secret Service and the ATF during the Clinton administration, serves as secretary general.
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