International Criminal Police Organization Interpol
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The International Criminal Police Organization, better known by its telegraphic address Interpol is an organization facilitating international police cooperation. It was established as the International Criminal Police Commission in 1923 and adopted its telegraphic address as its name in 1956. It should not be confused with the International Police, which takes on an active uniformed role in policing war-torn countries.
Interpol is the world's fourth-largest international organization, after FIBA (the International Basketball Federation), the United Nations, and FIFA (soccer's international governing body). Its membership of 186 countries provides finance of around €41.7 million through annual contributions. (By comparison, Europol receives €63.4 million annually.) The organization's headquarters are in Lyons, France. Its current President and Secretary-General are, respectively, Jackie Selebi, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, and Ronald Noble, formerly of the United States Treasury. Noble is the first non-European to hold the position of Secretary-General.
In order to maintain as politicaly neutral a role as possible, Interpol's constitution forbids its involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries, or in any political, military, religious, or racial crimes. Its work focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, organized crime, war crimes, illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, trafficking in human beings, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, and corruption.
In 2005, the Interpol General Secretariat employed a staff of 502, representing 78 member countries. Women comprised 42 percent of the staff. The [http://www.interpol.int Interpol public website received an average of 2.2 million page visits every month. Interpol's Red notices ("diffusións roja") that year led to the arrests of 3,500 people.
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