THE FACE OF INTERPOL
A paper on the history and formation of Interpol
"...The Chief of the Security Police and SD. SS Ober gruppenfuhrer Heydrich began by announcing his appointment by the Reich Marshal as the person responsible for 'the preparation of the final solution of the European Jewish question and pointed out that this meeting was being held to achieve clarity in basic questions..."
"...The supervision of the final solution was, regardless of geographical boundaries, centralized in be hands of the Reichfuhrer SS and Chief of the German Police (Chief of the Security Police and SD)..."
The above are extracts from the minutes of a meeting held in Berlin on the 20th of January 1942.The 'Wannsee Conference', as it was called, had been attended by such notorious figures as SS Reinhardt Heydrich, Dr. Alfred Meyer, Dr. William Kritzinger, SS Gruppenfuhrer Heinrich Muller (RSHA), and the infamous SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Adolf Eichmann among others.
The meeting was held at AM grossen, Wannsee, Berlin in the offices of the International Criminal Police Commission known popularly as INTERPOL.
I guess we have all had the romantic notion of Interpol that is portrayed so well by the media and movies etc. The international police network stretching its tentacles far and wide across the globe , fighting crime and bringing to justice the international drug smugglers and criminals of the day.
Well nothing could be further from the truth. In fact Interpol has been implicated time and time again in Nazism, Drug Trafficking and false dossiers over the past years.
When Interpol was first created on September the 3rd, 1923 in Vienna, Austria, it had the highest of ideals. The basic concept was excellent. A network of police from various nations cooperating together to locate and catch criminals who had evaded justice by crossing the borders of nations to escape arrest, and bringing them to justice. However all this was to change in 1941 when SS Reinhard Heydrich achieved control of Interpol by some clever political maneuvering and by moving the Headquarters of Interpol from-Vienna to Berlin. Heydrich remained President until 1942 whereupon it was handed over to Dr. Ernst Kaltbrunner who was later executed for war crimes at Nuremberg in 1946, served as President until 1945.
At the end of the war one of the permanent officials of Interpol was named as President, a Mr. F. E. Louwage from Belgium. Louwage, at the beginning of the war, had been the Inspector General of the Surete de I'Etat, the State Security Police in Belgium. Despite this he continued to work for the Nazis throughout the war and was a known Nazi sympathizer. Louwage remained President of Interpol and carried this sympathy right up to 1956.
This thread of Nazi officers and influence continued up to recent times. When, for example, the then President Paul Dickopf died in September 1973, he was praised by police forces around the world. It was two years later when research found that Paul Dickopf also had a Nazi past. He had been a member of the National Socialist German Student Organisation, the famous Hitler Youth. His career began at the Kriminalpolizie (KRIPO) as a criminal commissar candidate. Dickopf then joined the SD Reichfuhrer SS and in 1938 volunteered to join the SS Fuhrerschule of the Sicherheitspolizie -- the Security Police. His SS number was 337259.
We might begin to ask what possible use would the Interpol Network be to the post war Nazis? Well it is a known fact that many Nazis fled to South America, the US and even Australia at the end of the war. Such a network would have been invaluable as an aid to providing an escape route and to hindering possible queries concerning these criminals. There are many advantages to having control over a vast network with the cooperation of police forces around the world.
But it does not end there. Interpol is in the enviable position of enjoying full immunity from inspection, examination and direct taxation. It also has complete immunity from legal suits. How can this be? Firstly Interpol is a private organisation. It does not come under the constitution of any country or even the United Nations. It is based in France but not subject to the legal processes of that country having been granted immunity from this By a piece of political chicanery called the 'Seat Agreement'. It was originally signed in 1982 by Jolly Bugarin who was the President at that time, and Andre Lewin, the Director of the United Nations and International Organisations Section of the Ministry of External Relations in France. This agreement means that Interpol is virtually untouchable and not accountable to any country or nation. For example, Article 5 of this agreement gives Interpol complete immunity from Legal Suits. Article 7 states that,
"The archives of the organisation and, in general, all documents belonging or held by it in whatever form, shall be inviolable wherever they are located."
However, Article 7 of this agreement was in direct violation of the then existing French Law regarding the accessibility and public examination of agency records and files. So in 1982 Christian Nucci, the then Minister of Cooperation and Development in the French Parliament, introduced a Bill which ratified the Seat Agreement by getting its provisions passed into law as well as, at the same time, nullifying existing laws guaranteeing public access to agency records. As a result ' of his (Nucci) efforts this bill was quietly slipped through Parliament in 1983 when there were only 5 members present out of more than 400.
Interestingly enough, only a few short years later Nucci and his former Chief of Staff Yves Chalier, were charged with fraud and embezzlement in connection with over 5 million Francs (830,000 US Dollars) in government funding.
Jolly Bugarin is not squeaky clean either. Bugarin, the former President of Interpol and co-signer of the agreement you might remember, was implicated in the assassination of former Filipino Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. in April 1984. At that time Bugarin was not only the President of Interpol but also head of the Civilian National Bureau of Investigation. The Filipino Police Organisation whose responsibility it was to provide protection for Aquino. According to press accounts at the time, Bugarin had instructed one of his subordinates not to reveal evidence which would have proved that one of the agents hired to murder Aquino was a known criminal. This same criminal had also been a member of Bugarin's police bureau for 13 years. .Bugarin later told an investigating panel that he found nothing irregular about hiring a man who had admitted to killing more than 30 people. "In the fight against crime, we also use criminals." Bugarin admitted. Bugarin resigned his position as Chief of the Investigation Bureau in 1986, a year after completing his four-year term as President of Interpol.
The other co-signer of this choice agreement, Andre Lewin, also has a checkered background. Lewin had been a personal Aide to the United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in 1975 when the U.N. entered into a 'Special Agreement' with Interpol recognizing it as an 'Inter-Governmental Organisation.' This agreement carried a romantic air of legitimacy and ignored the fact that the Interpol network was a private organisation under the control of no court or government in the world. By 'establishing' this inter-governmental status Interpol easily placed itself into a position where the free exchange of confidential information was able to pass into and out of its hands. In 1980 Lewin had left his position as Aide to Waldheim and entered the French Ministry of External Relations. Two years later the Seat Agreement was signed. A few weeks later the International Criminal Police Review (the journal of Interpol) carried an article in which Waldheim publicly reconfirmed the inter-governmental status of Interpol. It was only 7 years later that Waldheim was exposed as yet another former Nazi officer, responsible for war crimes committed during World War 11. That year Lewin's ongoing association with the former UN. Secretary General became an embarrassment to the French Government who subsequently denied a posting to Lewin as Ambassador to Vienna.
Article 18 of the Seat Agreement gives immunity not only to the organisation but also to its individual staff and executives, whether they are currently employed by Interpol OR HAVE LEFT THE ORGANISATION. This makes Interpol an absolute haven for anyone who has committed crimes or wishes to evade justice for any reason.
Article 11 states, "The Organisation, its assets, income and other property shall be exempt from all direct taxation." This must be the only private organisation or company in the world to enjoy such a privileged status.
Both of these articles have undergone changes, mostly in the form of reformatting as we will see later.
This agreement puts Interpol somewhere between God and the rest of the world. In fact the Department of Justice Manual of the U.S. points out that, "INTERPOL is something of a legal curiosity." It went on to say, "It conducts intergovernmental activities, but it is not based on an international treaty, convention, or similar legal instrument. It is founded on a constitution written by a group of police officers who did not submit it for diplomatic signatures, not have they ever submitted it for ratification by governments."
Well you might be forgiven for thinking that this was 30 odd years ago and the situation would have changed. Well, no, it hasn't. Interpol STILL operates under this agreement and the false diplomatic immunity it confers and Interpol is STILL being implicated in criminal activities. Currently it is drug trafficking and false information dissemination. Notably and perhaps not surprisingly, the drug trafficking which has been repeatedly linked with Interpol is in and around the South and Central Americas. In 1987 Interpol's Secretary General, Raymond Kendall, presented Gen. Manuel Noriega, the now deposed Panamanian Dictator, the Bronze Medal. Interpol's highest award for efficiency in the handling of drug trafficking. This at the same time when Noriega was under investigation for drug trafficking in several countries. This begs the question, What did Interpol mean by 'Efficiency in Drug Trafficking?' That it was done so well? Interpol Chief of Panama, Lt. Col. Navaldo Madrinian was also heavily involved in drug trafficking. And not long after the Washington Times, identified Madrinian as a person who gave sanctuary to Key drug traffickers of the Medellin cartel. This was revealed after raids by the Columbian government on drug traffickers later year.
In April of 1970 two members of the U.S. State Department's agency for International Development (AID), while investigating the state of drug law enforcement in Bolivia, reported that two former Interpol Chiefs had been dismissed for corruption. In Mexico Interpol have also been keeping their hand in. The head of Interpol Miguel Aldana Ibarra vanished almost overnight in 1985 when U.S. Officials accused him of taking a bribe from cocaine traffickers. Aldana was apparently considered the 'Godfather of protection' for the drug industry throughout Mexico. He was indicted in 1990 for murdering an anti-drug agent. And during a trial of drug trafficking in San Diego it was revealed that most of the drug trafficking in Mexico had been handled by Florentino Ventura a, yes you guessed it, former Head of Interpol. Ventura was Chief of Interpol in Mexico until September 1988 when he then committed suicide after murdering his wife and a close friend. It was subsequently found that Ventura was a member of a drug murder "cult" in Mexico responsible for the gruesome murders of some 15 persons.
This is only part of what is known or has been revealed about the dubious activities of Interpol. What is there that has not yet come to light? With Interpol's immunity status it is difficult to find out exactly what their involvement is with the drug cartels. With that immunity removed who knows what bucket of worms may surface.
Which brings us to the question of false dossiers.
Interpol, by virtue of its questionable immunity status, does not have to verify the data it receives from other law enforcement bodies. And no one can get in and correct any false data in their files.
As an example of the abuse that can and possibly does occur, a Suzanne R. of Munich has been confronted by Italian Anti-terrorist units who "confused" her with Suzanne Albrecht ( a top wanted terrorist ) whom she in no way resembled. This happened on four occasions. She then protested to the German criminal police who reassured her that all the necessary information and her protests had gone to the Italian authorities about the mistake and they had been instructed to remove any documents on Suzanne R. from their files. This was not a happy ending however as she was AGAIN arrested in Italy and not only that, the Italian authorities could not give her a guarantee that it would not happen again.
It is considered by experts that her name has been entered into the vast bank of Interpol files (now many millions of files entries in the central data bank in France) and as these files are 'inviolable' they cannot be corrected except at the whim of Interpol itself. I wonder how many Suzanne's there are in the world.
This is one of many incidences of incorrect data flowing in and out of Interpol. When you consider that a total of 700,000 entries go from France to Columbia and other countries which have a thriving drug trade with Interpol's fingers in it, you begin to wonder just what sort of information is passed and for what purpose. Member countries of Interpol also include known terrorist nations such as Libya, Iran and Iraq to which information is passed just as easily as with other nations.
So how does this affect Australia?
In 1985 a question was asked in the house by the late Senator Missen. Essentially this question was how many requests of the Australian Government and Australian police forces does Inte1'poJ make and how many requests for information has the Australian Government and its police forces made of Interpol. This during the financial years July 1980 to June 1985. The answer given by the then Minister for state, Sen. Gareth Evans showed that there was almost 25,000 requests by Interpol and nearly 28,000 requests by the Australian Government. This represents about 5000 requests each year each way. Of course now it is likely to to be much more. But the question is, how much of this information is going to terrorists nations and countries heavily involved in drug trafficking and terrorist activities? Just as importantly, how accurate is this information?
A general purge of Interpol was conducted by Jorg Zirke, head of the office in 2012 "We wish to remove the stains which might still exist," Zirke explained. Interpol has gone to great lengths since them to eradicate the past from its files and focus on eradicating criminal activity. It has formed alliances with the Council of Europe and other bodies around the world. With the advent of the internet and an increasing network link to governments and police networks around the planet Interpol has become stronger than ever.
There has been some radical changes to its constitution and now it is possible per Article 29 of the Statue of the Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files:
"Any person or entity shall have the right to submit directly to the Commission a request for access to, or correction and/or deletion of, data processed in the INTERPOL Information System and concerning that person or entity.
(2) The Organization and its Members undertake to respect this right."
Other changes in the constitution include the removal and change of articles 11 and 18. With 18 this is replaced by the THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANIZATION - INTERPOL AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC agreement where "The Organization's headquarters shall be inviolable. Agents and officials of the French Republic shall enter the headquarters to discharge any official duty only with the consent of the Secretary General..." And "The Government of the French Republic shall take all pertinent measures to protect the Organization's headquarters and maintain order in the immediately surrounding area. In addition it goes on, "3. The Organization shall not permit its headquarters to become a refuge from justice for persons who are pursued in connection with a felony or flagrante délicto, or against whom a penal judgment has been made or a warrant of arrest or a deportation order has been issued by the competent French authorities or against whom a European Arrest Warrant has been issued in a Member State of the European Union in application of the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States."
Legally now, "The Organization shall enjoy immunity from legal process, except in the cases specified below:
(a) the waiver expressly results from clauses in a contract;
(b) a civil claim for damages arising from an accident caused by a motor vehicle belonging to the organization or used on its behalf, or from a violation of road traffic regulations involving a motor vehicle belonging to the Organization or used on its behalf; (c) a counter claim directly linked to proceedings begun as a main action by the Organization.
2. The Organization may expressly waive its immunity from legal process in certain cases."
So it still has immunity from prosecution and is not answerable to anyone government or other entity.
In addition under article 6, "The Organization's property and assets wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from seizure, confiscation, requisition, expropriation, or any other form of administrative or judicial constraint."
So Interpol still enjoys the immunity it has always had, just in a different form to its originally laid out Constitution.
Although it appears to have divested itself from the vestiges of the Nazi regime that took over during world war II it still retains its independence financial and in law but due to its increasing transparency is now serving to fight the areas of crime such as terrorism, drug use, cybercrime, crimes against children and slavery.
It should be noted that in its historical update any mention of the above Nazi officers has been overlooked. The foundation of Interpol is clearly listed and then there is a general listing before the later 'clean' leadership is specifically noted. These are only noted in Wikipedia and the Interpol site carefully omits any reference to the Nazi influence that extended up into the 50's.
These days Interpol is a data gathering and sharing machine for police and other forces around the globe with links into Western and other governments and retains its immunity from prosecution and independence as an independent corporation.
The Two Faces of Interpol (Written 1982) and Published in RMIT Students Journal by Michael Moore
Agreement between Interpol and Europe.pdf
Accord Siege revised 2008.pdf
Interpol Chief of Panama, Lt. Col. Navaldo Madrinian