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Law Enforcement's Gateway to the World

Quick Facts

  • Interpol OttawaCanada joined INTERPOL in 1949 and the RCMP was given the responsibility of operating INTERPOL Ottawa.
  • INTERPOL’s I-24/7 system provides a gateway to numerous criminal databases and allows member countries to securely share information.
  • INTERPOL can issue seven different notices
  • An arrest warrant issued by a foreign country is not valid in Canada. A foreign fugitive can only be arrested if:
    • he or she committed the crime in Canada;
    • he or she is in violation of the Canadian Immigration Refugee and Protection Act and;
    • an arrest warrant is issued by Canadian authorities following the receipt of a Provisional Arrest Request from a foreign country.

December 5, 2011


Created in 1923, INTERPOL is the world's largest international police organization, representing 190 member countries. Its goal is to facilitate cross-border police co-operation and to assist with preventing and combating international crime.

INTERPOL is the first point of contact for many countries pursuing an international investigation. It acts as a conduit for member countries to share information and seek assistance in criminal investigations in their respective jurisdictions.

INTERPOL has six priority crime areas:

  • Drugs and criminal organizations
  • Financial and high tech crime
  • Fugitives
  • Public safety and terrorism
  • Trafficking in human beings
  • Corruption

Some of INTERPOL’s unique services include:

  • Access to a range of criminal databases and the ability to conduct international checks on criminal records, passports, vehicle identification numbers, firearms etc.
  • Issuing INTERPOL Notices to all member countries to help locate a fugitive, a missing person or to gather information on a subject.
  • Coordinating and providing assistance in locating/deporting/extraditing foreign fugitives on Canadian soil and Canadian fugitives abroad.
  • Providing up-to-date information to police investigators on legislation pertaining to criminal investigations and on Canadian requirements for pre-extradition.

In each of the member countries, INTERPOL is represented by a National Central Bureau (NCB), which is usually located in the capital city of the country. INTERPOL Ottawa, which is the Canadian NCB, serves as the primary link between law enforcement agencies in Canada and around the world. It coordinates all international requests for assistance with the appropriate Canadian law enforcement agencies and also conducts criminal investigations.

INTERPOL Ottawa is divided into the following four main areas:

Operations Center

The Operations Center acts as Canada's front-line responder for Canadian police investigators and government departments requiring international assistance in criminal matters. The Center is responsible for receiving, evaluating and efficiently processing all requests for assistance from INTERPOL member countries.

Crime Unit

The INTERPOL Crime Unit coordinates and provides assistance in pursuing major international criminal investigations. The Unit offers timely information to police investigators on legislation surrounding criminal investigations and on country requirements for pre-extradition requests. The Unit can also coordinate and provide assistance in locating, deporting and extraditing foreign fugitives in Canada and Canadian fugitives abroad.

Notices and National Criminal Registry Unit

The Notices and National Criminal Registry Unit is responsible for entering all internationally wanted and missing persons on CPIC. The Unit also performs quality review of this pertinent information.

Liaison Services

Liaison Services identifies and coordinates the participation of Canadians to INTERPOL conferences, symposia and meetings. It circulates publications, international crime statistics and analytical studies on criminal activity to the Canadian law enforcement community. In addition, it manages and authorizes access to the INTERPOL Secure Communication Network.