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Interpol Response re. Green Notices

Submitted by Steve: Some off you are aware that I sent in a inquiry to Interpol that questioned their standards for issuing green notices…well I got a response back from Interpol, Lyon Paris (Yes the mothership AJ)

In my letter I stated that I have not yet had a green notice issued against me (haven’t travel abroad yet) but asked the question are they appealable. I pointed out to them that the US government does not assess any Registered Sex Offender for dangerousness they just send out blanket notices to Interpol.

I posted, in the International travel thread, the standards to which Interpol sends green notices and somebody has to be a threat. Now my interpretation, of course, is that there is no way for the US government to know I’m a threat without an assessment.

I let them know I was traveling in June to Paris with my family and my conviction was 21 years ago and had nothing to do with child trafficking.

Here’s some of the response:

“We acknowledge receipt of your correspondence addressed to the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s files.”

“Insofar as you have provided the required documents (copy of my passport)  your request is admissible.”

“The following procedure applies to the processing of admissible requests:
The commission first checks whether any data concerning the Applicant are being processed in Interpol’s information system (probably none since I haven’t traveled) If so the commission examines THE COMPLIANCE OF THE PROCESSING OF THESE DATA WITH INTERPOL’S RULES (BINGO someone is listening) on the basis of the information available to it. In this context it considers ALL ELEMENTS and documents provided by the Applicant in support of his/her request.”

“In accordance with article 34 of it’s statute, the commission may seek additional information or clarification form the applicant…..”

“When the commission considers it has received sufficient information to reach a conclusion on a request, it shall generally decide on the request for deletion/and or correction of data within 9 months form the date the request was ruled admissible.”

“The commission shall provide it’s decision to the INTERPOL General Secretariat within one month from when the decision was made”

“The commission shall provide the applicant a written decision and reasoned decision no later than one month from the date on which the Commission received notification.”

“We Will keep you informed of further developments in due course.”

Yours Faithfully,
Secretariat to the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL files.

I have no idea where this is going to go and have no real expectations but it sure is refreshing to actually get a response back unlike trying to get FOIA from any of our government entities.

I would suggest anyone that has had a green notice experience to write them and try to appeal it. Question their standards and reiterate our government doesn’t assess anyone so how can we be considered a threat.

Join the discussion

  1. New Person

    Great Job! Hope they do query what the US is doing and how it isn’t compliant with INTERPOL’s process.

    • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

      Not compliant with INTERPOL’s rules? Hell, they’re IN on it. They have lobbied for such notifications. Their point man there is Irishman Mick Moran who is as gung-ho about keeping “sex offenders” from traveling as he could possibly be.

  2. Joe123

    Wow, very impressive! Clearly there is an appeals process. I am guessing that by default anyone on a public registry gets a green notice when they submit a 21 day advance travel notice. However, it looks like Interpol has some removal procedure. So that’s good.

  3. David

    Hi Steve,
    As I have posted on the travel thread, upon arriving at CDG Airport in September, my flight was met by several French policemen waiting for me. (Frankly, I found it more amusing than uncomfortable! The French are wonderful, but thoughts of the Pink Panther’s Inspector Clouseau were in my head as I greeted the officers! 😄)
    Could you please provide the Interpol contact’s name and address to which you wrote? I’m very interested in writing to them to get more information and to appeal any notices that are being sent to Interpol about me. Many thanks, David

    • AO

      @David, Did they still let you enter the country after questioning you, or were you sent back? Thanks!

      • David

        @ AO,
        In answer to your question, yes, I was permitted to enter France after a short interview comprised primarily of the standard Customs questions (i.e., What is the purpose of your travel? How long are you staying? Where will you reside while here? Will you be traveling to any other countries? Etc.) There were no questions at all about my past conviction or criminal history. From what I could gather from their questions and their neutral demeanor towards me, it appeared that they may have had no knowledge of why they had been instructed to pull me aside and question me.)
        when they were done with their questions, they said o “Okay, thank you for your time. You are free to collect your luggage and continue your holiday.” One of them then escorted me directly through Customs and directed me to the baggage pickup area.
        Despite the brief delay caused by the unusual welcome, my vacation in France continued without a hitch. (I travel to Europe every year and I’ve never had any problems with Customs (aside from this year’s unusual welcome which only amounted to a slight delay.)

        • E @ David

          David did you already get your marked replacement passport? Where to this year?

          My situation was similar last time in Europe, but with a hitch. I had no issues in Frankfurt but was then pulled aside in Spain after flying there from FRA. Since there’s no passport control after an intra-Schengen flight they were checking all passports as people left the baggage area; as soon as they found me they stopped checking passports and said, “please come with us.” They also seemed to not know why they’d been told to question me. Very friendly and apologetic. However, if I’d had a marked passport I wonder how the questioning would have gone.

        • Dave F.

          Hey guys,

          This past December my partner and I flew to Germany. Before we travelled, I did of course, submit the SORNA information to my resident LEO (VA State Police). On arrival in Frankfurt, we observed three van loads of Polizei. Something told me it was for me. Before they would let everyone off the plane, the flight attendant announced that there would be a secondary passport control check. So as we’re leaving the plane, a young officer was checking passports and when he got to mine he says, “Oh Mr. F, we are looking for you.” So we went down to the tarmac and the officer said he was instructed to document my entry into the EU. So he and another officer took a picture of my passport and boarding passes (make sure you don’t discard the connecting flight boarding pass). And as the French did, asked the basic questions. I agree, I don’t think the officers know the details. Of course meanwhile the other passengers are waiting in the bus to go to the terminal while we’re standing out in the cold, lol. God only knows what they must have been thinking! So add this to the list of indignities we must endure. I read that the EU was going to a new travel authorization system called “ETIAS” European Travel Information and Authorization System. I’m thinking that could present problems for us when trying to visit the EU. It starts in 2021. Also, what is a “green notice” ?

        • E @ Dave F

          That’s a new one for Germany. Ughh. I assume you did not have a marked passport??

  4. steve

    I forgot to mention above you have to email them first to get the balm rolling. They will ask for ID and give you a reference #. You have one month from the date of that email to respond back with your question and your I’d mailed back to them.
    I don’t remember exactly how I got to the web page that has the online submittal but just search Interpol request for files or information. I’ll try and look as well.

    • David

      ‘Will do, Steve! Thanks. 👍
      (I’m really curious what was sent to the French to inspire their very memorable “personal welcome”.)

      • RdinCA

        Were you allowed into France?

        Thanks

        • David

          Yes, I was allowed into France after a brief delay and after answering the standard Custom questions. (For more, please see my earlier comments above.)

    • Dave F.

      @E

      Yes, I have a marked passport, but I never observed any customs officer check that. The officers interviewing me were merely acting on the information/request passed to them from Interpol based on the SORNA information provided to my local VA State Police. It should be noted that it appears to be the final destination country that does the interviewing/documenting since I had a connecting flight through Amsterdam and nothing was done. My concern is that with these new procedures/notifications, will we be allowed to travel to places like Great Britain where they have fairly strict sex offender laws similar to the US. I also think our greater concern should be the new ETIAS program being implemented for the EU in 2021.

      • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

        Dave: “My concern is that with these new procedures/notifications, will we be allowed to travel to places like Great Britain where they have fairly strict sex offender laws similar to the US.” Dave, we ARE NOT able to travel to Great Britain and have not been for many years, way before IML. Unless, you spent less than X number of months or years in prison and X amount of time has elapsed since.. Sorry, I forget the specifics. Although, I would be pretty nervous about getting in, regardless. “I also think our greater concern should be the new ETIAS program being implemented for the EU in 2021.” Yes, that is my concern, as well. I’m thinking that there may be more reasons beyond the European’s liberality that we might be getting in and that could change with their new turnkey-police-state-in-a-box system.

        • Dave F.

          @Notorius
          I was not sure about Great Britain; that really sucks because I did want to travel there. But yeah, it will be interesting to see how things go in 2021.

      • E @ Dave F and Kennerly

        Thanks Dave F, that is helpful to know you have your marked passport already, but it wasn’t focused upon. Also helpful observation about “final destination” checking up on you. Last May I had no issues in FRA, as always, but then was pulled aside after an intra-Schengen flight in Spain. The guys in Spain had no idea why they were supposed to be questioning me and were apologetic and sent me on my way. Sounds like the same thing happened to you after an interior Schengen flight. That had never happened to me before (I did not YET have a marked passport)… being pulled aside anywhere in Europe, so something has changed in Europe in just the last year. I have a trip to AMS scheduled this spring for work and will have my shiny new passport.

        Re: UK: research their “spent convictions” law. Any “imprisonment” of 5 years or more means your conviction cannot ever be “spent” (removed), and you are not eligible for any relief/entry. I’ve heard differing opinions on whether “imprisonment” includes probation (any court supervision). I was on probation for longer than that but was not incarcerated. They did not let me in a few years ago, though the customs folks were very British and friendly. He told me I can’t come back “without applying for a visa.” I have not attempted it. Cheerio!

        • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

          Two different things are up in the air, here: within Schengen relevance and the possibility that we have been getting into Western Europe because our records may not have been available to Immigration. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe that there is a Schengen policy on sex offenders although there might be. It just so happens that the Schengen countries have been letting us in but having nothing to do with Schengen. Add to that the surprising possibility that these countries may well have not known that we are Registrants when we present at the border. This, however, is bound to change. I read a year-or-so ago in a Dutch news piece that they were about to implement a new system to allow them to check immigrant’s criminal records in real time at Schipol Airport (A’dam), suggesting that that has not been a capability before now. We may find that individual Schengen countries begin to depart from this open-door policy soon or in the future, although I would guess that The Netherlands will remain somewhat liberal in this regard but, who knows? It’s important not to over-interpret Europe’s liberalism especially as it applies to “sex crimes.” I have a Dutch friend who has been actively harassed and even physically attacked and his windows broken, people with bullhorns demanding he leave his neighborhood, excrement stuffed into his door’s mail slot, etc., over this issue. Recently, he was denied a bank account, as well. And then there’s France which is at least as hostile.

        • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

          Now that I think on it further, even if the database information may not have been available to some countries including, surprisingly, N.L. (Netherlands) they would still likely have received some notifications generated by “Angel Watch.” Or would they have? Isn’t this just complete bullshit that we have to piece all of this together, ourselves, from personal travel anecdotes and news snippets?

  5. cool RC

    On their about page.
    https://www.interpol.int/About-INTERPOL/Overview
    NEUTRALITY
    At INTERPOL, we aim to facilitate international police cooperation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular countries. Action is taken within the limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our Constitution prohibits ‘any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character’.

    I think you did a smart thing by checking on this. I think we need contact them more often. They may start rejecting Green Notice because this kind of this does seem to conflict with Declaration of Human Rights,

    Great work!!

  6. 290 air

    Steve,
    That was a great idea. I was wondering since I had a psychiatrist conduct the SARATSO (static-99) test that I can actually claim that I was evaluated/assessed. I think he did 3 different tests and all came back between low-risk and extremely low risk. (my conviction was 21 years ago too) So that might be an option for people too. I paid Rick Oliver PhD up in San Luis Obispo about $1500 to conduct it and write it up when I was trying to get removed from the registry. Although it didn’t work for that (shocker) maybe it will work much better with Interpol…

  7. AJ

    @steve:
    Great work! Thanks for doing this for all of us, whether travelers or not. I’m impressed that the whole process has only taken about a month or so–pretty good for a bureaucracy. I guess I’m too used to things in this country “moving at the speed of government.”

    Does anyone have an idea if it’s “one and done” regarding Notices, or do the Feds send one each time a POTR travels? If the latter, this appeal process may not be nimble enough to overcome Uncle Sam’s hijinx.
    If they issue every time, they may wait until 72 hours beforehand, then pull the Notices once they know we’re back in the U.S. That would make it nearly impossible to challenge or overcome. If it’s one and done, the appeal process should work much better for us.

    One possible way to “test the defenses” of the Feds and Interpol would be to buy a fully refundable (read: expensive!) ticket, right after your credit card statement rolls over, for travel prior to your next statement; file IML travel paperwork; ping Interpol sometime near your travel date (48 hours? 24 hours?); cancel your refundable ticket; stay home and await Interpol’s response.

    • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

      The “sending” of notices is not the extent of “notifications” which are not only “sent” but also “inserted” into a database where they will continue to live and be continuously available to any immigration officials, until such time as they are deliberately removed. In other words, there’s more than one way to kill a cat. We’re the “cats,” btw.

      • steve

        Exactly DK. It appears once you are in the system you have the ability to contest that. I’m traveling before this nine month time table they have given me to respond. I have a feeling I’ll be doing this all over again if the US sends a green notice on me. But it’s good to know this is available.

  8. Cam

    I’m very curious if anyone has either traveled to Port Louis or the Seychelles since the implementation of the IML. I’m planning to travel in March, and would like to know if anyone has ANY information on this region.

  9. Cam

    Hi, I’m curious if anyone has attempted to fly to Port Louis or the Seychelles since the implementation of IML? If so, what were the results? I’m planning a trip in March and would like to have any information about this particular region.

  10. USA

    Great points! Can you possibly share what a Green Notice is? Lastly, my expunged plea was over 21 years ago! I’ve never had been tested via SARATSO? I did my own test/low etc. How will they implement SB 384 without this? Or, as many studies have been noted, it’s not really valid if your crime free etc after 10 years.

  11. Richard L

    Will hi ever one i am new at this ok just off my probation in Oct of this year 2018 for a sex note to a 15 year girl so i got charge with SOLICITATION OF A MINOR But i was traveling to Hong Kong to meet my wife did not know landing in China would get me turn back but it did yes i gave my 211 day notice . will next time i will fly right to Hong Kong So i lean some thing new always fly direct to her .So just watch out i guess . thanks Richard

    • NY wont let go

      They sent you back at your layover destination? Thats a bit nuts. Last time i was there though China rushed me through immigration because my plane was about to leave.

      Thats a long expensive flight… 20 hours one way if you get a more expensive ticket.
      Hope you ger to see your wife soon.

  12. David Kennerly

    INTERPOL member countries have total control over notifications (to issue or not to issue) about one of their own citizens. The only real exception is when one of those member nations, e.g. Russia or Turkey abuse the system of notification to get other countries to arrest one of their dissident citizens and attempt to repatriate them so that they can throw them into a cage back home. That power is being challenged, increasingly.

    • Tuna

      Or in the way Russia has been issuing Red Notices for years against Bill Browder, the father, as it were, of the Magnitsky act.

  13. USA

    Thanks AJ! Is this what the US does to forwarn or inform Foreign Countriues someone required to register is coming? Here is my question? I realize some (those) convicted of child related offenses are given a new passport with an identifiable marker? Are they given a green notice as well? What about those not convicted of a child related offense? Expunged offense?

  14. ca

    Green Notice
    To provide warnings and intelligence about persons who have committed criminal offences and are likely to repeat these crimes in other countries.

    since RSO have the lowest reoffend rate. Green card shouldn’t apply

    • TS

      That second part about the likelihood of reoffending w/o an assessment is what chaffes my hide since no green notice assessment is completed for Interpol or is transmitted by the travel notified office we know of (should one be done for/by them or previously by other). It’s all conjecture unless data has shown otherwise. Like to challenge that with Interpol with assessments I’ve had done on my own in my defense. Maybe useless since there’s history but just to prove a point with them…

    • steve @ca

      Thanks for that definition will be using that later.

  15. jist a nobody

    maybe this might help
    Interpol: How to challenge an international arrest warrant (red notices and diffusions)?
    http://kaarls-strafrechtadvocaten.nl/english/interpol-red-notice-and-diffusion-removal-request/

  16. cool CA RC

    another legal team promoting themselves as “expert’ in “INTERPOL RED NOTICE REMOVAL LAWYERS: TYPES OF NOTICES”
    http://www.mcnabbassociates.com/types-of-notices.html

  17. ca

    More information
    http://kaarls-strafrechtadvocaten.nl/english/interpol-red-notice-and-diffusion-removal-request/

    Therefore a red notice or diffusion must be removed because:

    there is (only) a political, religious or racial motivation
    human rights will be violated

    A red notice or diffusion must be removed also because the case is not serious enough. This is decided by looking at the length of the sentence. There are two elements:

    there is a conviction already; a red notice may not be ‘published’ to seek extradition in order to serve a sentence less then six months’ imprisonment.
    there is no conviction yet; a red notice may not be ‘published’ to seek your return to face prosecution and trial unless the offence in question is punishable by at least two years imprisonment.

    Article 83 of the Rules on the Processing of Data sets out specific criteria for ‘publishing’ red notices. For example ‘publication’ of a red notice is prohibited:

    the offence in question raises ‘controversial’ issues relating to behavioural or cultural norms (for example adultery)
    the offence originates from ‘a violation of laws or regulations of an administrative nature or deriving from private disputes’ (for example offences regarding an unfunded cheque / bounced cheque)

  18. Ali

    Each country can still turn away anyone for any reason…. but this green notice does more harm than good… what does this mean, what steps do I take for this news? Do I have to follow up with interpol each time I give my 21 day travel notice?

  19. steve

    I received a response today via mail from Interpol. It basically said they have no records of me in their system which is what I figured they would say. So..I will re-submit my inquiry to them after my trip if a green notice is issued on me. It seems they take their inquiries seriously and I would suggest anyone that had a green notice issued on them to pursue what I started.

    • E @ steve

      Thanks for letting us know!

      • james

        Yes, thanks from me also…we should all follow up as you have!

        Best Wishes, James

    • AJ

      @steve:
      Thanks for the update. It’ll be interesting to see what info they have post-travels. You still plan to ping DoJ afterwards, too? Let’s see if they can get their lies straight! (DoJ I mean. Sadly, I trust I’POL more than my own government. That’s a relative, not objective, trust.)

      • steve @AJ

        Funny you should mention our own DOJ. Interpol, in their letter, mentioned since I have no record with them I should contact my own law enforcement (not those exact words) as they have no jurisdiction. My plan is to wait until I travel and contact Interpol again challenging there standards for issuing the notices.
        I think we all know how far I’ll get contacting Angel Watch.

        • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

          Steve, try contacting Washington INTERPOL instead as each member-nation is responsible/authorized for any alerts sent on their own citizens. INTERPOL Washington, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20530-0001. AJ, I would not be more trusting of INTERPOL than our own government. For one thing, when U.S. citizens interface with that part of INTERPOL that has any authority over us, we really are dealing with the U.S. Government.

        • AJ

          @Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly
          “AJ, I would not be more trusting of INTERPOL than our own government.”
          —–
          My statement was made with the intended message of the severely low esteem in which I hold our government, rather than any sort of great esteem in which I hold Interpol. As I said, it was a relative, not objective, amount of trust. They can both still be objectively mistrusted….and are.

    • Dave F.

      @ Steve

      Thanks for the update!

  20. steve @David

    David, thanks for the advice will do once I’m back from my trip in July.

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