Whether it is possible for Iranian authorities to find out if a deported refugee claimant has a drug-related conviction in Canada, protocol for processing Interpol information requests by Canadian authorities; treatment in Iran of someone convicted in Canada on a drug-trafficking charge [IRN33967.E]

According to a constable at the Interpol office of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Iran is a member country of the Interpol Network. Accordingly, requests from Iranian authorities are not treated any differently than requests from other nations. Therefore, Canadian criminal history records are accessible to the Iranian police officials via regular Interpol procedures (RCMP, 25 Feb. 2000).

The following information on the exchange of information within Interpol was excerpted from the Interpol Website.

Frequently asked questions about Interpol

1. Is INTERPOL an international police force?
No. INTERPOL is an international organisation which has co-ordinated police international co-operation between the Member States Police Forces since 1923.

2. How many Member States are there?

As of 30 October 1997, there are 177 Member States of the Organisation.

3. Does INTERPOL actually investigate cases?

No. Investigations are conducted by the national police forces of Member States under their own sovereign laws and INTERPOL plays a vital role in supplying criminal information of a transnational nature to these national police forces.

4. So how does INTERPOL communicate?

Each Member State establishes a National Central Bureau (NCB) staffed by its own police force and communicates via an independent computerised electronic mail (e-mail) network which covers the globe. This system, known as the X400 MTA, provides a secure and rapid means of communication using encryption. In 1997, 1.8 million messages are expected to be exchanged via the INTERPOL X400 e-mail system.

5. Does INTERPOL collect information on international criminals?

Yes. The INTERPOL General Secretariat, which is located in Lyon, France, has established a database of information on all internationally wanted criminals or missing individuals, with their photographs and/or fingerprints.

6. Can these records be accessed automatically from the National Central Bureaux (NCBs)?

Yes. Night and day, police forces from all over the world may access online these records via the Automated Search Facility (ASF) within a matter of seconds.

7. How is an internationally wanted criminal traced?

INTERPOL has a unique notice system circulated electronically to all Member States. At the request of a member country, the General Secretariat will issue a 'Red Notice' to all Member States which contains sufficient details of the case, description, personal details, criminal history, photograph and fingerprints of an internationally wanted criminal to enable a Member State to locate, to arrest and to detain him/her pending an extradition application by the requesting country.

8. Does this apply only to wanted criminals?

No. The INTERPOL notice system is used for requesting information on suspected criminals, missing individuals and unidentified bodies, or for evaluating information concerning stolen property, stolen works of art and stolen vehicles.

Information on the treatment in Iran of someone convicted on a drug-trafficking charge outside of Iran could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Interpol, Ottawa. 25 February 2000. Telephone interview with a constable.

Interpol Web site. "Frequently asked questions about Interpol." http://www.interpol.com/English/faq/faq-int.htm [Accessed 25 February 2000]

Additional Sources Consulted

Country Reports 1999


World News Connection (WNC)