The International Criminal Police Organization – Interpol (ICPO-Interpol) was created to assist international criminal police cooperation. Interpol, once merely the organization's telegraphic address, was officially incorporated into the organization's new name adopted in 1956, prior to which it was known as the International Criminal Police Commission.
Interpol is the world's second largest international organization, after the United Nations; it currently has 181 member countries. It is financed by annual contributions from its member countries, which total about EUR €30 million (USD $28 million). The Organization is headquartered in Lyon, France. The currently serving President of Interpol is Jesús Espigares Mira, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Spanish National Police. The current Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble, formerly of the US Treasury Department, is the first non-European to hold the position.
Because of the politically neutral role Interpol must play, its Constitution forbids any involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries, or any political, military, religious, or racial crimes. Its work centers primarily on public safety and terrorism, organized crime, illicit drug production and trafficking, weapons smuggling, trafficking in human beings, money laundering, financial and high-tech crime, and corruption.
In October 2001, the Interpol General Secretariat employed a staff of 384, representing 54 different countries. Of those, 112 were police officers, 112 civilians. That same month, Interpol began to change from a 9-to-5 agency to a 24-7 agency, making its work easier and more efficient.
In 2001, some 1400 people were arrested or located as a result of Interpol notices.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Republic of Macedonia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.