Removal Red Notice and Clean Up the National Police Databases

Removal Interpol's Red Notice
Rechtsanwalt Dr. Uwe Ewald

There are tens of thousands of so-called „Red Notices“ issued by Interpol for people wanted for prosecution or to enforce a criminal judgement, usually to serve a sentence. Removal Interpol’s Red Notice  and cleaning up of national police databases are crucial for many persons concerned, last but not least due to so-called false positives. Interpol does not act on its own behalf but on request of member states. Hence, although Interpol will check the legality of the request before an issuance of a notice, apparently there is some substantial criticism that states could use the mechanisms of Interpol to go after their citizen beyond the legal grounds foreseen in Interpol regulations.

There is another reason why some individuals can end up with a Red Notice, and this is that national requests for notices, once based on certain grounds of suspicion might not be deleted according to data protection regulations. These False Positives might also lead to policing activities, usually at an airport resulting in denial of entry to a country and extradition.

Therefore the demand to efficiently remove Red or other Notices is rather high and often requires not only to approach Interpol but also national law enforcement to inquire for information kept and processed in police databases and networks where traces of data which led to the Notice are ‘mirrored’ and remain if not effectively removed as well. In fact, to start the procedure of removal of Red Notices at the national level where the request for the Red Notice originated, can be much more effective and leads to a finally sustainable positive result for the affected person for the following reason:

Request for removal addressing Interpol successful but ineffective?

Although the request for Removal Interpol’s Red Notice can be successful, this does not necessarily mean that the national state which required the issuance of the Red Notice agrees and would close the case and clean up the national digital police system from that case. This situation unfortunately maintains the status of being wanted for the respective person.
Therefore, based on data protection law either provided by the GDPR or in case of police and criminal prosecution the LE-Directive allows proceedings to first inquire information about personal data kept in police databases and second to ask for removal of such data, if necessary with the help of courts.

Inquiry for the provision of comprehensive information

The usual procedure for Removal Interpol’s Red Notice and the personal data contained in police data bases related to the Notices starts, in a cases where German law enforcement appears to be the driving police force, with an inquiry for the provision of comprehensive information.
In accordance with § 57 para. 1 of the Federal Data Protection Act, any natural person is entitled to request information on whether or not personal data is processed and/or analyzed in police files and information systems. The central police authority  is the Federal Criminal Police Office, Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) (§§ 29, 31 para. 1 and 2 of the Federal Criminal Police Office Act – including possible personal references (PHW/ANST) and Passenger Name Records).
Information is requested in accordance with § 57 paragraph 1 Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) about which data concerning the respective person are available and which categories of data are concerned, the origin of the data, the purposes of the data processing and its legal basis, who was or is the recipient (category of recipients) of these data, the storage period or the criteria for their determination.
Finally, information is requested on the extent to which there is a right of rectification, to restrict the processing of data by the controller or to delete it, as well as a right under Section 60 to call on the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection (BfDI) and Freedom of Information, including information on how to contact the BfDI pursuant to § 84 para. 1 BKAG, § 31 para. 2 BKAG in conjunction with §§ 57, 58 BDSG.

Facts underlying the request for information

Quite often the request for information is triggered by unpleasant encounters during the attempt to enter another country, usually at the airport where the passport of a person is checked and the Red Notice will come up. After being interrogated by border or airport police, sometimes arrested and handcuffed, suspected persons will be denied entry and extradited to the country where they came from. If the request (e.g. arrest and extradition to the requesting state) by the Interpol member country is accepted by the interrogating authority the person will be detained and handed over to the requesting side.
In any case, in order to start any legal procedure to clarify the situation the facts of the case, as far as known to the client, have to be described and presented as part of the inquiry.

Focus on major police data bases at Interpol, EU and national level

The inquiry for information regarding personal data processed in police data bases and digital networks focuses on Interpol Notes/databases, Schengen Information System, processing of criminal cases (investigation and prosecution) at the federal and state level in Germany.
The police information network relates in particular (but not exclusively) to
Interpol alerts (especially Red Notice and Blue Notice) and databases,
– the Schengen Information System (SIS) and Passenger Name Record (PNR)
– on Inpol, Police Information, Information and Analysis Systems (PIAV), Case Management Systems (eFBS) of the Federal Government and the Länder.

Make sure swift professional reaction

In case you become aware that a Red Notice might have been issued against you and would like to set up an immediate and effective response in order to acquire a removal of Interol`s Red Notice do not hesitate to ask for legal advice and support. We are experienced and knowledgeable with regard to German, european and international digital police data systems and data protection as well as criminal procedural references. If you wish, please contact me via phone (+4917645687455) or email ( Note: Please do not go into details of your case via unencrypted connections. We will set up such a safe line of communication as soon as you decide to proceed.