INTERPOL is looking for 450 people convicted, or suspected of, committing crimes from money laundering and counterfeiting to child sexual abuse and murder. If you have a social media account on Facebook or MySpace, the European organization is asking for you your help track down these fugitives.
INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 188 member countries. Created in 1923, it facilitates cross-border police cooperation, and supports and assists all organizations, authorities, and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime.
On May 3, INTERPOL launched an international appeal to hunt down fugitives from just and enlisted social media as a source for aid. The effort was announced on the INTERPOL website.
The May search began following an international coordination and information-sharing meeting on the organizations difficult, unresolved cases in Lyon, France. After two months, the social media tactic led to criminal investigations in 32 countries resulting in the arrest of 107 fugitives and location of 26 others. New information on 357 of the 450 cases is being analyzed by INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support (FIS) unit.
INTERPOL’s use of social media is innovative due to the increased contact time on social media networks or chat sites, there’s a higher probability that a citizen will recognize a fugitive online than if they saw the same person walking down the street.
Some of the fugitives on INTERPOLS INFRA-Red list started running in the 1990s and were not difficult to apprehend; Colombian model Angie Sanclemente Valencia was arrested in Argentina, where she was wanted for drug trafficking. Others, like currency counterfeiter Mouamba Munanga of the Democratic Republic of Congo–wanted in France–was found and arrested in South Africa.