Politics

Does Interpol Publish All Red Alert Notices on its Website?

Sammy Gyamfi claims “every Interpol Red Alert Notice can be located on their website.

Information available on the Interpol website indicates that not all Red Notices are made public or published on the website. 

Full text

An alleged Airbus bribery scandal under the administration of former President John Mahama, which was referred to the office of the Special Prosecutor by the Akufo-Addo administration to be investigated has been revisited, when news surfaced on the Internet from some media organisations of an Interpol Red Notice of four persons alleged to be involved in the scandal. 

According to the media reports, Samuel Adam Forster, also known as Adam Mahama, is among the four persons wanted by Interpol and charged for allegedly accepting bribes to influence a public officer and acting in collaboration with a public officer for the public officer’s private gain. 

Adam Mahama is known to be the brother of former President John Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 elections. 

Following the news, the NDC Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi in an interview with Joy Fm on Thursday 16 July 2020, claimed that the Interpol Red Notice being circulated for Adam Mahama is fabricated and fake, adding that there is no evidence of such an alert on the Interpol website. 

“We have checked on the website of Interpol and the said Red Notice alert cannot be found there. When Interpol issues any red notice, the control number of the Red Notice is entered into their database worldwide. They are an international body and when they issue an alert and you input the name, the family name of the subject of the notice, or the control number of that notice, you are going to see that Red Notice pop up on their website. This is the standard practice of Interpol -every Red Notice alert which is issued by Interpol can be located on their website. There are over 7000 Interpol Red Alert Notices which have been made public and all of them are there. So if the subjects’ control number cannot be found on their website, then it means the notice is not from Interpol. It is a contrived document, it is fabricated, it is of dubious validity and we should not feed the people of this country with such information. I am telling you that it is fake,” Sammy Gyamfi stated in the interview.

Similarly, a tweet by an NDC Twitter account has also claimed the story is fake indicating that there is only one Ghanaian published on Interpol website, and it is not Adam Mahama.

Verification

Even though there was no evidence of Samuel Adam Forster or Adam Mahama on the Interpol website for Red Notice views as the claim indicated, Dubawa’s search on the Interpol website found that contrary to the claim, not all Red Notices are made public or published on the website.

“There are currently approximately 62,000 valid Red Notices, of which some 7,000 are public. The majority of Red Notices are restricted to law enforcement use only. In some cases, for example where public help is needed to locate an individual or they pose a threat to public safety, a public extract of the Red Notice is published on this website.” the Interpol Red Notice statement reads.

Source: InterPol

Furthermore, the Ghana Police Service has confirmed the Interpol Red Notice issued for Samuel Adam Forster (Adam Mahama) through a news release. Ghana is a member country of Interpol and hosts an Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) in the country also known as NCB Accra or Interpol Accra. 

Interpol Accra is a unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police.

On Friday 17 July, 2020, the Ghana Police Service Twitter account posted a news release by the Public Affairs Unit of the CID signed by the Deputy SuperIntendent of Police, Juliana Obeng, dated 16 July, 2020. 

The news release confirmed the existence of an Interpol Red Alert issued for Samuel Adam Forster (Adam Mahama) and three other individuals in connection with the Airbus scandal being handled by the Special Prosecutor. The news release stated that the  InterPol Red Notice followed a request by the office of the Special Prosecutor through the CID to the Interpol General Secretariat.

Source: Ghana Police Service  

Consequently, notable Ghanaian media organisations have reported on the Interpol Red Notice for Adam Mahama in line with the request of the office of the Special Prosecutor, as stated by the CID. 

Conclusion

The assertion by Sammy Gyamfi that Interpol Red Notice for Adam Mahama is fabricated based on his claim that every Interpol Red Notice is published on the InterPol website is false. The InterPol website states that out of approximately 62,000 valid Red Notices, about 7000 of them are public, where the majority of the Red Notices are restricted to law enforcement use only. 

Examples of cases where the Red Notice is published on the Interpol website are when certain individuals pose a threat to society or Interpol needs public help with locating individuals. Furthermore, Interpol Accra has issued a news release confirming the Interpol Red Notice of Adam Mahama. 

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