Our newspapers frequently refer to Interpol. Several fugitives from Sri Lankan justice are said to be wanted by Interpol.
What is Interpol? The full name is the International Criminal Police Organisation. It is the world’s largest international police organisation with 187 member countries. Created in 1923, Interpol facilitates cross-border police co-operation and assists organisations combating international crime.
The General Secretariat of Interpol is in Lyon, France and operates 24 hours a day under a Secretary General. Each member country maintains a National Central Bureau staffed by its local police officers. This is the contact point for the General Secretariat, regional officers and other member countries requiring assistance with overseas investigations and the location and apprehension of fugitives.
Sri Lanka is a member country of Interpol, paying a substantial annual subscription fee. It works closely with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Delegates from Sri Lanka attend Interpol’s annual general assembly, at which important decisions relating to policy, resources, working methods, finances, activities and programmes are determined.
The worrying question is why this prestigious and powerful international police organisation cannot apprehend the big Sri Lankan swindlers at large? More than the swindlers, Interpol has failed to help apprehend one of the world’s most wanted international terrorists and gun-runners, the Sri Lankan Tiger known as “KP”.
To Sri Lankans, Interpol is just an empty name.
The general assembly should take note. The Executive Committee and the General Secretariat should help Interpol shake off its lethargy.