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International Criminal Police Organization - Interpol

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The International Criminal Police Organization--Interpol (ICPO-Interpol) was created to assist international criminal police cooperation. "Interpol," once merely the Organization's telegraphic address, was officially incorporated into the Organizationís new name adopted in 1956.

Interpol is the second biggest international organization, after the United Nations, with 179 member countries on five continents. It is financed by annual contributions from its member countries, which total about 30 million euro (US$28 million). The Organization is headquartered in Lyon, France. The currently serving President of Interpol is Jesús Espigares Mira[?], Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), of the Spanish National Police. The current Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble[?], is the first non-European and first American to hold the position.

Because of the politically neutral role Interpol must play, its Constitution forbids any involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries, or any political, military, religious, or racial crimes. Its work centers primarily on public safety and terrorism, organized crime, illicit drug production and trafficking, weapons smuggling, trafficking in human beings (people smuggling), money laundering, financial and high tech crime, and corruption.

In October 2001, the Interpol General Secretariat employed a staff of 384, representing 54 different countries. Of those, 112 were police officers, 112 civilians.

In 2001, some 1400 people were arrested or located as a result of an Interpol notice.

Interpol's Web site can be found at http://www.interpol.int/ and, unlike United States government Web sites, is copyright protected.



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