Interpol, FBI and NCA thwart criminal gang trying to sabotage Red Notice system | World News

A joint operation by Interpol, the FBI and British anticrime officials has thwarted attempts by criminals in Moldova to sabotage one of the international police agency’s key tools – the Red Notice system.

Four people have been arrested as part of the joint sting which uncovered an international criminal organisation with ties to people in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Red Notices flag people deemed fugitives to law enforcement worldwide and are one of Interpol’s most important tools.

The suspects “paid intermediaries and public figures in Moldova to inform wanted criminals of (their) Red Notice status” Moldova’s anti-corruption chief Veronica Dragalin told reporters.

The criminal scheme tried to get people subject to the notices “asylum or refugee status” in Moldova and other countries “with the aim of blocking and deleting” the sanctions by bribing public officials.

The sums of money involved are believed to be in the region of several million euros.

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Interpol said the operation – which included British, French and Spanish officials – followed the detection of attempts to “block and delete” the notices.

Moldova opened an investigation on 2 April, after receiving information from France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, and then asked for help from the FBI.

Among those involved in the investigation was the UK’s National Crime Agency.

Paul Foster, NCA Director of Threat Leadership, said: “These corrupt officials abused their positions to provide a service that enabled some of the world’s most serious criminals to attempt to operate, travel freely and evade detection by law enforcement.

“As part of an ongoing joint investigation, the NCA uncovered vital evidence which identified key individuals and high harm cyber criminals who were paying them to conduct searches for Red Notices.”

Read more:
Interpol boss defends Red Notice system amid allegations of misuse

Ms Dragalin said: “We are committed to fighting high-level corruption in all of its forms, particularly those schemes that put in jeopardy criminal investigations worldwide.”

A statement from Interpol said the agency has taken steps to prevent further “misuse of its systems”.

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