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Interpol’s new chief set to be Russian


Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei, left, with President Xi Jinping of China, at a meeting of the organization in Beijing, in 2017. Credit Kyodo News, via Getty Images

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Russia is notorious for abusing the Interpol Red Notice process, for flouting the law, and for not abiding by the rules. This selection may call the rule of law into question anytime Interpol is involved. 

In yet another interesting twist to the Interpol chief’s story, Interpol’s acting President is Kim Jong Yang of South Korea, replacing Meng Hongwei, Deputy Minister of Public Security of China, who is alleged to have resigned via an undersigned postal letter in October 2018 after his detention and disappearance by Chinese authorities on corruption charges. Recall Meng Hongwei disappeared almost immediately upon his return to China. 

From a New York Times article,

Last month, the international law enforcement agency Interpol lost its chief, Meng Hongwei, and set out looking for him. It turns out that Mr. Meng, also a vice minister of public security in China, was arrested by Chinese security personnel upon returning to China (Interpol is headquartered in France). It took nearly two weeks to find out why: Partly in response to Interpol’s demands for information, the internal oversight organ of the Chinese Communist Party announced that Mr. Meng was under investigation for being “possibly involved in illegal activities.” Interpol then received Mr. Meng’s resignation.

China is also notorious for Kangaroo courts, as is Russia.

The story of Ihor Prokopchuk, the brother of the Russian Interpol President-select, is beyond interesting. Yes, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

Stay tuned for more.

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Interpol’s new chief set to be Russian: ‘Putin will attempt his most audacious operation yet’, Alexander Prokopchuk, a former head of Russia’s interior ministry, reportedly favorite to win the presidency

If the Russians succeed this will be an immensely practical and propaganda coup for Muscovy, yet again blindsiding the West. Russia has repeatedly exploited the naivete of many law enforcement officials in the West and may succeed again.

The oddest twist in this tale is in the last listed report.



Kremlin says U.S. is meddling in selection of Interpol head | Reuters

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that public opposition by a group of U.S. senators to a Russian candidate to head the international police organization Interpol amounted to election meddling.

Kremlin Backs Veteran Russian Official for Interpol Presidency – WSJ

The Kremlin said it backed a veteran Russian Interior Ministry official to become Interpol’s president, raising fresh concerns about the efficacy of the international police agency critics say authoritarian governments have abused.

Interpol’s new chief set to be Russian: ‘Putin will attempt his most audacious operation yet’ Alexander Prokopchuk, a former head of Russia’s interior ministry, reportedly favourite to win presidency

A Russian official has been tipped to become the next head of Interpol, despite accusations Moscow uses the international policing agency to target critics. Alexander Prokopchuk, a former head of Russia’s interior ministry, is reportedly favorite to take over as president from Meng Hongwei, who was detained by China and is being investigated over alleged corruption. Mr Prokopchuk is one of only two candidates in the running for the job, and British officials have already concluded he will win due to the level of support among the agency’s member states, according to The Times.

Russian tipped to take over Interpol in Kremlin victory

A Russian official is favorite to be the next head of Interpol in spite of concerns that Moscow has been using the international policing agency to target political opponents. British officials expect Alexander Prokopchuk, 56, a veteran of Russia’s interior ministry, to be elected as the next Interpol president next week. The election follows the disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the president who resigned last month and is being investigated by China’s anti-corruption authorities. Mr Prokopchuk’s appointment would represent a significant victory for the Kremlin after criticism of the Russian state for abusing the agency’s “red notice” system. Russia has been accused of trying to obtain red notices, which are effectively international arrest warrants, against political opponents to restrict their ability to travel or secure their…

Interpol reportedly to elect a Russian president after China mysteriously disappeared its old one | Business Insider

Interpol is set to elect a new president this Wednesday after China unexpectedly detained its old one about two months ago. Alexander Prokopchuk, a Russian national, is expected to win in what would be a major victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Is Nominated to Lead Interpol, Alarming Western Officials – WSJ

Interpol confirmed that a veteran Russian Interior Ministry official and a South Korean police commissioner had both been nominated to become its next president, despite allegations that Moscow has used the international police agency to go after political foes.

Russia’s Prokopchuk might take over as Interpol chief. Why is it dangerous? – 112.international

Rumors have sparkled that Chief of Russian National Central Bureau of Interpol, Police Major-General Aleksandr V. Prokopchuk might become the new head of Interpol

Putin is about to gain control of the world’s main law enforcement organization – The Washington Post

Putin’s Russia is guilty of criminal behavior. Now one of his minions is about to become head of Interpol

Wicker, Shaheen, Coons, & Rubio Warn Against Russian Leadership of Interpol Ahead of General Assembly Vote – Press Releases – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker

Helsinki Commission Members Call on Trump Admin & Interpol General Assembly Members to Oppose Alexander Prokopchuk’s Candidacy for President of Interpol WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., members of the Helsinki Commission, issued the following joint statement, urging the Trump Administration and members of Interpol’s General Assembly to oppose the candidacy of Alexander Prokopchuk of Russia to serve as the President of Interpol. A vote to elect the next President of Interpol will be held at the Interpol General Assembly in Dubai on Wednesday. “Interpol electing Major General Alexander Prokopchuk as its new President is akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse,” said the Senators. “Russia routinely abuses Interpol for the purpose of settling scores and harassing political opponents, dissidents and journalists. Alexander Prokopchuk has been personally involved in this intimidation strategy which ultimately seeks to weaken democratic institutions and embolden Putin’s authoritarian regime. If elected as President by the members of Interpol’s General Assembly on Wednesday, we have no doubt that Mr. Prokopchuk will further institutionalize the abuse of Interpol red notices and block ongoing efforts at meaningful reform. Further, the potential access he would gain to sensitive law enforcement data will bolster the Kremlin’s ability to harass critics living outside of Russia and aid other authoritarian regimes seeking to do the same. For these reasons, we urge all 192 members to stand for the integrity of Interpol as a legitimate international law enforcement mechanism and vote against Mr. Prokopchuk. We continue to call on our administration to use its voice, vote and influence to ensure that Interpol can no longer be co-opted by Putin and other dictators for their own nefarious purposes. ” The Russian Federation is one of the main countries to exploit Interpol’s red notice system, whereby notices of arrest are sent to all member countries. Russia has used the red notice system to harass Russia dissidents, critical Americans, and other individuals opposed to the Kremlin’s aggression around the globe. Russia’s candidate for the President of Interpol, Major General Alexander Prokopchuk has been particularly involved in the Kremlin’s continued harassment campaign since he served as the head of Russia’s National Central Bureau since 2011. The vote for President of Interpol will take place in Dubai on Wednesday, November 21.

US senators call on to oppose appontment of Russian General Prokopchuk as Interpol chief: “It is akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse”

20.11.18 16:36 – US senators call on to oppose appontment of Russian General Prokopchuk as Interpol chief: “It is akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse” U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., members of the Helsinki Commission, issued the following joint statement, urging the Trump Administration and members of Interpol’s General… View news.

Bipartisan Group Calls on Trump to Oppose Russia’s Bid for Top Spot at Interpol – The Daily Beast

Allowing a Russian official atop the law-enforcement agency would be like “putting the fox in charge of the hen house.”

Pressure Builds On Interpol Ahead Of Vote To Choose New Chief

Pressure is building on Interpol ahead of a vote to choose a new chief for the international police agency, with U.S. senators and others warning against the possibility that a top Russian Interior…

Former FBI Deputy Director Buck Revell: Don’t hand over Interpol to Russia | Fox News

Imagine putting a key international law enforcement agency in the hands of one of the top international law abusers.

UK should rethink Interpol role if Russian gets top job, MPs say | Politics | The Guardian

Appointment of Alexander Prokopchuk ‘would be like putting fox in charge of hen coop’

Kremlin foes fume over possible Russian Interpol president

LONDON (AP) — A financier and Kremlin critic warned Tuesday that naming a top Russian police official to be president of Interpol would undermine the international law enforcement agency and politicize police cooperation across borders. Bill Browder, who runs an investment fund that had once operated in Moscow, said President Vladimir Putin has tried to use Interpol to hunt down critics and electing a Russian to lead the agency could intensify such efforts. The London-based businessman has campaigned for sanctions against Russian officials charged with human rights abuses after his former lawyer died in custody.

Editorial Board | There is a wolf at Interpol’s door. The agency should not let him take over. – The Washington Post

Choosing a Russian security official and Putin ally to run the international police organization would be a huge mistake.

William Browder | The world can’t let Russia run Interpol. My experiences show why. – The Washington Post

A criminal regime shouldn’t be allowed to control an international police organization.

In Putin’s era it’s crazy to let a Russian lead Interpol. We must prevent it | Mikhail Khodorkovsky | Opinion | The Guardian

What kind of signal would appointing Alexander Prokopchuk send about Interpol’s values, asks the founder of the Open Russia movement, Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Garry Kasparov – STATEMENT OF STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE FREE RUSSIA FORUM REGARDING THE ELECTION OF A NEW INTERPOL PRESIDENT

Putting a mafia member in charge of the police department sounds absurd, but it’s a very real possibility. A Putin police general is the leading candidate to take over Interpol in their election on Wednesday. If this happens, Interpol officially becomes an arm of the Kremlin. It will be the end of Interpol as an institution for justice, and free world nations will be forced to abandon it, as they did when the Nazis took it over in 1938. For more details, here is the statement of the Standing Committee of the Free Russia Forum, who know all too well how Russia abuses Interpol and other international institutions. STATEMENT OF STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE FREE RUSSIA FORUM REGARDING THE ELECTION OF A NEW INTERPOL PRESIDENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 19 NOVEMBER 2018 On November 21, the election of a new President of Interpol will take place. The leading candidate for this post is the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of the Russian Police Alexander Prokopchuk. The Standing Committee of the Free Russia Forum expresses its categorical protest against the election of this candidate to the post of head of Interpol. Such an influential organization as Interpol cannot be led by a representative and functionary of an unfree nation that violates the rights and freedoms of its own citizens, violates its international obligations, annexes the territories of other states, and is currently the protagonist of several wars of aggression. It is well-established that Russia has abused Interpol as a tool to persecute abroad the political opponents of the ruling Russian regime who have been forced to emigrate. Critics and other targets of the Putin regime residing outside of Russia have repeatedly been victimized by Interpol mechanisms such as Red Notices and “diffusion” notices, as a result of which they were detained and put through lengthy legal procedures before they managed to convince Interpol of the political nature of their persecution—often requiring political intervention on their behalf. A few examples: members of the Standing Committee of the Free Russia Forum Leonid Nevzlin and Ilya Ponomarev, founder and CEO of the Hermitage Capital Management investment fund William Browder, employee of the Anti-Corruption Foundation Nikita Kulachenkov, anti-fascist Peter Silaev, Voina activist Oleg Vorotnikov, Izhevsk journalist and activist Andrei Nekrasov, Ulyanovsk blogger Sergey Kryukov, former head of the Tutaevsky municipal district of the Yaroslavl region Jan Andreev. This list could be continued. The election of the official representative of the Russian Federation to the leading position of Interpol will reinforce the negative trends in the work of the international police. In the hands of an operative of the Russian police, Interpol can become a dangerous weapon in the Kremlin’s deadly campaign against representatives of the Russian opposition abroad and other opponents of Putin’s regime outside of Russia. Of special concern is that Interpol can be used against citizens of other states who find themselves in the territories annexed by the Russian Federation. For example, pro-Ukrainian activists who lived or are now living in the territory of the illegally-annexed Crimea, and who were subjected to illegal persecution by the Russian occupation authorities, could become victims of international prosecution. Would Interpol target these people on Russian request? It is difficult to imagine otherwise should a Russian official becomes the head of Interpol. The candidate for the post of the head of Interpol also raises questions. Alexander Prokopchuk is a major general of the Russian police, an organization known for its corruption and persecution of representatives of the Russian opposition. Prokopchuk is directly subordinate to President Vladimir Putin and, of course, is an obedient tool in his hands. In addition, over the past few years, Prokopchuk headed the Russian National Interpol Bureau. It was during his tenure at this post that cases of unlawful use of Interpol mechanisms for targeting opponents of the Putin regime outside Russia became more frequent. There is no doubt that should he become the head of Interpol, this Russian official will only intensify the persecution of opponents of the Russian authorities. The Russian Federation is not a democratic, legal state. There is no independent judiciary, no concept of fair application of justice. A dictatorial regime has been formed inside Russia and is pursuing its opponents both inside the country and abroad. Political repression, the murder of political opponents, the use of chemical weapons on the territory of other states, interference in the internal political processes in Western countries and other hybrid operations are just a few of the illicit methods used by the Putin regime against its enemies. To entrust a representative of this regime with such an important function as the leadership of the international police is absolutely intolerable. The Standing Committee of the Free Russia Forum appeals to the members of the General Assembly of Interpol to abandon any support for the representative of Russia for the post of head of Interpol. Members of the Standing Committee of the Free Russia Forum:

  • Vladimir Ashurkov— Co-founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation
  • Marat Gelman— Russian art collector, gallery owner, publicist
  • Andrei Illarionov— CATO senior fellow, economist
  • Garry Kasparov— Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation
  • Daniil Konstantinov— Chairman of the Russian European Organization, former political prisoner
  • Leonid Nevzlin— Entrepreneur, public policy advocate •

Ilya Ponomarev— Former MP of the Russian State Duma

  • Andrei Sidelnikov— Leader of the international Speak Up! movement
  • Ivan Tyutrin— Co-founder of the Free Russia Forum
  • Mark Feygin— Human rights lawyer, political activist
  • Evgenia Chirikova— Environmental activist

In Ukraine, fears grow over ‘likely’ election of Russian Interpol chief | KyivPost

Alexander Prokopchuk, a former major general at the Russian Interior Ministry, is likely to be elected as president of Interpol – the international police organization – as early as Nov. 21, according to international experts, sparking fears among Kremlin critics abroad and exiled opposition leaders here in Ukraine. Prokopchuk – widely referred to as “the abuser-in-chief,” thanks to his alleged exploitation of the Interpol system during his two-year tenure as vice chair for Europe – will extend the usage of Interpol ‘Red Notice’ arrest warrants to serve Moscow’s political interests abroad, some observers are arguing. Prokopchuk and the Kremlin have already faced serious criticism for their apparent willingness to issue international arrest warrants through Interpol that serve Russian political interests, while cracking down on critics, journalists and activists. The presidency of Interpol has been left vacant since the October arrest, detention and disappearance in China of the former Chinese president Meng Hongwei, triggering an election this week at the Interpol General Assembly meeting in Dubai. Meng Hongwei, who served as Interpol president since 2016, was a former Chinese secret policeman who has been detained while under investigation for corruption, according to China’s government. A Kremlin coup at Interpol Sensing crisis at Interpol, Russia has acted quickly to champion the election of their presidential candidate who has been, for a number of years, manoeuvred into a powerful position at the international policing agency, observers say. According to the British government, Prokopchuk’s election to the presidency is now ‘likely’, as reported by British newspapers on Nov. 19. Bill Browder, the British financier, economist and outspoken Kremlin critic who was a prominent architect of the Magnitsky Act – an American law that allows U.S. authorities to sanction human rights abusers and freeze the assets of corrupt officials – said on Twitter that the Kremlin has spent some time setting the stage for their Interpol takeover.

Ukraine may suspend membership in Interpol – Interior Minister Avakov | UNIAN

Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Arsen Avakov, states that Ukraine will consider suspending its membership in Interpol if a representative of the Russian Federation is selected the new president of the organization. The minister says that putting Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk at the helm would be in breach of the organization’s “spirit and goals.” Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Arsen Avakov, states that Ukraine will consider suspending its membership in Interpol if a representative of the Russian Federation is selected the new president of the organization. “Russia’s probable presidency in Interpol is absurd and contradicts the spirit and goals of the organization. In case the arguments of Ukraine and a number of other countries fall on deaf ears, Ukraine will consider suspending its membership in ІСРО,” Avakov wrote on Facebook. As reported earlier, on Nov 18, the 87th session of the Interpol General Assembly launched its work in Dubai, where, among other issues, consultations are underway regarding the candidates for the post of the new Interpol president, months after the agency’s former leader, Meng Hongwei, was arrested in China on corruption charges. One of the two candidates in the upcoming vote by Interpol’s 192 member states, is from Russia despite allegations that Moscow has used Interpol’s procedures to pursue political enemies. Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk, a current Interpol vice-president who previously headed the office of Russia’s deputy interior minister, will compete with Kim Jong Yang of South Korea, Interpol’s acting president, according to The Financial Times.

Brother of Russia’s candidate for Interpol chief represents Ukraine at OSCE – media | UNIAN

Ihor Prokopchuk, a younger brother of the Russian Federation’s candidate for the post of Interpol’s chief, Major General of the Russian Police Alexander Prokopchuk, has been heading the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the OSCE in Vienna, Austria, for eight and a half years. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry insists Ihor Prokopchuk has not committed any action that could discredit him. Ihor Prokopchuk, a younger brother of the Russian Federation’s candidate for the post of Interpol’s chief, Major General of the Russian Police Alexander Prokopchuk, has been heading the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the OSCE in Vienna, Austria, for eight and a half years. Reports about the family ties between Ihor Prokopchuk and Alexander Prokopchuk are currently being checked, Ukraine’s weekly newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli (Mirror Weekly) said. Read alsoUkraine may suspend membership in Interpol – Interior Minister Avakov “Although it is surprising that such vetting did not take place earlier when the diplomat was appointed to this position. At the same time, many of their colleagues say Ihor Prokopchuk and Alexander Prokopchuk look very much alike. Both graduated from Kyiv’s Taras Shevchenko National University,” the newspaper said. According to Ihor Prokopchuk’s biography available on the diplomatic mission’s website, he was born in Zhytomyr region. At the same time, Wikipedia notes Alexander Prokopchuk was born in Ukraine and started his career as part of Komsomol authorities in Zhytomyr region. Zerkalo Nedeli tried to contact Ihor Prokopchuk in Vienna for a comment. However, the diplomat did not respond to the messages and dropped calls. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says in its follow-up statement that since the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the OSCE Ihor Prokopchuk has not committed any action that could discredit him or damage the national interests of the state.

 

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