Notably, the first UN special notice was issued by Interpol in 2005 for individuals subject to UN sanction against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Besides the UN Special notice, Interpol classifies seven types of notices, color coded, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Black, Orange, and Purple. Information disseminated via Interpol notices concerns individuals wanted for serious crimes, missing persons, unidentified bodies, possible threats, prison escapes and criminals' modes of operation. The red notice seeks the location and arrest of a person wanted by a judicial jurisdiction or an international tribunal expecting his/her extradition. Interpol publishes notices either on its own initiative, or based on requests from its member states' National Central Bureaus (NCBs) or authorized international entities such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. All notices are published on Interpol's secure website and extracts of notices may also be published on Interpol's public website if the requesting entity agrees. Interpol can only publish a notice that adheres to all the proper legal conditions under Interpol constitution. Notices can be issued in any of the four official languages of Interpol: English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. Chinese perhaps should be included as an official Interpol language since China has just issued a red notice for 100 criminals all involved in swindling money on a large scale. (Using Chinese language is not an honor but practicality.)
Most Interpol member countries would consider a red notice a valid request for provisional arrest, except those countries having additional internal legal requirements or a bilateral extradition treaty to be satisfied. The United States and Canada are such significant examples because most of the corrupt officials on the Chinese red notice are likely hiding there. The United States has extradition treaties with 109 countries or territories but not with China. So the effectiveness of this red notice does depend on whether the United States and Canada would cooperate or not cooperate with China regarding this global warrant issued by China. The US extradition treaty with another country is established based on each country’s internal law to safeguard the due judicial process rendered to a citizen or permanent resident. This protection is especially important if the individual fled the country was under religious or political reasoning. The extradition treaty would generally spell out such protection clauses.
The USNCB focuses on fugitives, financial fraud, drug violations, terrorism and violent crimes. It can refuse to respond to any of the 200,000 annual inquiries from other nations and, as required by INTERPOL bylaws, it does not assist in the capture of suspects, particularly those coming into the U.S. from a country having no extradition treaty with the U.S. The 100 wanted corrupt Chinese officials including 23 women on the Chinese red notice have most probably escaped to the United States and Canada. Some have been in exile for as long as a decade, hence likely they have become permanent resident or even citizen in a foreign country. Therefore, some of these fugitives could hire lawyers to engage complicated legal procedures to delay bringing them back to China for trial due to a lack of extradition treaties between China and their hiding countries. I might point out though the existing extradition treaty between Hong Kong and the U.S., perhaps, could be helpful before US and China sign an extradition treaty.
Listing people, fled more than ten years ago, on the Interpol notice seems to illustrate Chinese government’s resolve in cracking down corruption and not as a political purge as some China critics claim. Sixty percent of the 100 wanted allegedly committed bribery and graft with evidence showing tens of million dollars involved. The red notice provided names, sex, nationality, crime committed and identification features including color of hair and eyes with a head and face photo. For example, on top of the list is Yang Xiuchu, while serving as deputy of construction bureau of Zhejiang province she had enriched herself through construction projects up to 253.2 million Yuan (>$40M). In 2003 after her brother was probed for corruption, she fled with daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter to the U.S. via Singapore. The red list will be updated every five years and will be effective permanently until the criminals are brought to justice. So the list definitely will have a positive effect on bringing criminals to justice and deterring corruptions in China.
Following the initial contact between two presidents, Xi and Obama, the US and Chinese officials will meet in August to discuss the possibility of repatriating Chinese officials who fled to America with billions of dollars of allegedly stolen government assets, a State Department official said. The absence of an extradition treaty between the US and China makes America an attractive destination for the fleeing Chinese, and a haven for the assets they allegedly stole. As a law abiding country, the U.S. must cooperate with China even at the loss of billions of dollars the corrupt officials had brought to the U.S. In the past, western governments had been reluctant to extradite suspects because of China’s murky judicial system. With the new leadership as seen in China’s 18th People’s Congress, judicial reform and anti-corruption were their serious reform agenda for saving the CCP party and the country. As more cases of trial are brought to light and more Chinese people are supporting the government’s reform, there is no reason for the U.S. not to cooperate with China on extradition.
Canada, which also has no formal extradition treaty with China, has already cooperated with China in extraditing suspects wanted by Beijing. In 2011, Canada sent Lai Changxing, a businessman wanted for corruption and smuggling, back to China on the promise that he would not be executed. He was sentenced to life in prison. China has no reason not to agree with the U.S. on conditions of fair due process, humane treatment and constitutional legal sentences, after all, these corrupt officials are not international spies who often get tortured to extract information. As a law abiding country, we shouldn’t harbor criminals. Alternative to extradition, deportation for violating US immigration law or business ethics law can be applied as well. Neither country has publicly announced how much money has been smuggled from China into the U.S., but according to the Washington-based Global Financial Integrity group, $1.25 trillion of illicit cash might have left China from 2003 to 2012, a mind boggling figure and a significant portion landed in the U.S. and Canada.
We urge the U.S. to cooperate fully with China on the Interpol red notice and we also urge China to use some of the recovered money on education including offering international student scholarships under the name ‘XO grant’ signifying a Xi-Obama beneficial cooperation. The cooperation among nations regarding law enforcement and criminal justice dates back a century ago. In 1914, the idea of INTERPOL was born at the first International Criminal Police Congress, held in Monaco. The official International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) was created in 1923, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, on the initiative of Dr Johannes Schober, president of the Vienna Police. In 1935, a police radio network was established but the mission of ICPC was interrupted from 1938-1945 by WW II. In 1946, Belgium led the effort to rebuild the organization, with Interpol as its telegraphic address and Paris its headquarters. In 1956, ICPC became International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO-Interpol or Interpol). In 1971, UN recognized Interpol as an international organization eventually accepted a liaison office and representative at the UN HQ in New York in 2004. Interpol is the second largest international organization next to the UN, supported by its member fees. Interpol progressed with time from radio network to X-400 electronic communication system (1990), then to a web-based I-24/7 system (2002) and established a cutting edge R&D, Interpol Global Complex for Innovation, in Singapore (2013). Interpol employed 756 staff representing 100 members as of 2013 with total of 190 members including China, Russia and the United States.