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Press Release

Global Law Enforcement Collaboration through Operation Atlas Yields 223 Violent Transnational Fugitives Arrested and 581 Fugitives Located in 70 Countries

For Immediate Release
INTERPOL Washington

WASHINGTON – INTERPOL Washington, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon, France, recently marked the completion of Operation Atlas, a year-long joint operation to find and arrest violent transnational fugitives across the world.

Since October 2022, U.S. and international law enforcement officials, working through Operation Atlas, arrested 223 fugitives and positively located 581 fugitives in 70 different countries, including 556 wanted in the United States. Of the fugitives targeted by the operation, 334 were the subjects of then active INTERPOL Red Notices*.  The fugitives were wanted to stand trial for offenses including, but not limited to, homicide, crimes against children, kidnapping, sex offenses, robbery, and illegal weapons.

The fugitives wanted under Red Notices were targeted jointly by INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit and the U.S. Marshals Service in collaboration with officers of the relevant INTERPOL member countries. 

“Operation Atlas serves as a model of domestic and international law enforcement cooperation to bring the worst of the worst to justice,” said INTERPOL Washington Director Michael A. Hughes. “Our communities, both in the United States and across the globe, face unprecedented transnational threats each and every day. The only way to defeat them is through transnational partnerships. Working together, we can make a difference.”

During the course of the operation, Atlas task forces met at global INTERPOL sites each quarter, enabling investigators to collaborate on fugitive cases in-person. These operational-level meetings brought together law enforcement partners from more than 20 countries, providing enhanced opportunities for information collecting and sharing. The task forces were held at Regional Bureau San Salvador, the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, the General Secretariat in Lyon, and Regional Bureau Buenos Aires. 

“Atlas was a remarkably successful year-long operation highlighting the U.S. Marshals Service's capacity to locate fugitives no matter the distance they travel, or the borders they cross,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald L. Davis. “Through international cooperation, we have strengthened partnerships, information sharing, and coordination among nations that will continue to bring fugitives to justice.” 

INTERPOL has been leading international operations targeting fugitives through its history and, since 2009, under the International Fugitive Round-up and Arrest (INFRA) model. “These fugitives have been located thanks to the power of international cooperation.  As INTERPOL completes its 100th year, Operation Atlas stands as a testament to our ability to unite across borders for a common cause and work together as partners to overcome the most complex fugitive challenges to make the world a safer place,” said INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Stephen Kavanagh.

A component of the U.S. Department of Justice co-managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, INTERPOL Washington—the U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB)—is the designated U.S. representative to INTERPOL. It serves as the national point of contact and coordination for all INTERPOL matters, coordinating international investigative efforts among member countries and the more than 18,000 local, state, federal, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies.

*A Red Notice is an international alert for a wanted person, but it is not an arrest warrant. Member countries apply their own laws in deciding whether to arrest a person.

Updated November 30, 2023