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Russia's Prokopchuk might take over as Interpol chief. Why is it dangerous?

Author : News Agency 112.ua

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
13:00, 20 November 2018

Interpol

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. International community starts resenting, saying that he would actually subordinate to Putin’s Office and would follow all his wishes

This week, chiefs of police and security experts from around the world are gathering at the 87th session of the Interpol General Assembly in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to address a range of global security issues. The two-day meeting, which will see the election of a new Interpol head, will discuss the complexities of terrorism and will address the challenges countries face in this endeavor.  

Ukraine, as well as the other states, are cautiously waiting for this day, because, according to the forecasts, Interpol might be headed by a former employee of the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation Alexander Prokopchuk.

The official biography of the Russian official

Alexander Prokopchuk was born on November 18, 1961, in Ukraine. Aleksandr V. Prokopchuk is a graduate of the Kyiv State University (Romance and Germanic Languages and Literature). Later he also graduated from the Russian National Tax Academy (Jurisprudence). He speaks five languages: English, German, French, Italian, and Polish. He started his career in the Komsomol organizations of the Ukrainian SSR.

Related: Ukraine might end membership in Interpol if Russia’s Prokopchuk becomes its head

In 1986, he moved to Moscow. In the 1990-s worked at regulatory and law enforcement agencies: Chief of the Personnel Policy Department, Chief of the Internal and Information Security Division of the RF Ministry of Taxation, First Deputy Chief of the General Administration for Security and Combating Corruption, Chief of the Information and Public Relations Administration of the Federal Tax Police Service.

Prokopchuk was a member of the Education and Culture Committee of the Council of Europe.

In 2003,  worked at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Worked as Head of the Office of the Deputy Minister – Chief of the Federal Service for Economic and Tax Crimes in the MIA of Russia, Chief of the Legal Control and Organization of International Cooperation Division of the Economic Security Department of the MIA of Russia. By Presidential Decree number 994 dated August 28, 2003, a rank of Major-General of Militia was assigned to Prokopchuk. In 2006, he became the Head of the Russian National Contact Point for Communication with Europol. By Presidential Decree dated 2011 a rank of Major-General of Police was assigned to him; and he was appointed Chief of the National Central Bureau of Interpol – MIA of Russia.

TASS

Since then, he has been actively moving up the career ladder: in 2014, he joined the Interpol Executive Committee, and in 2016, he occupied the post of vice-president of the organization.

Prokopchuk is a military operations participant. He was awarded personal weapon, has government awards, and is listed in the MIA Hall of Fame.

Intelligence professional: Why the world community is afraid of Prokopchuk's appointment?

When learned at a session of the Interpol General Assembly that the election’s favorite is Police Major-General Aleksandr V. Prokopchuk, Ukrainian delegation has immediately launched a large-scale protest campaign.

"We are very active here in Dubai... Our delegation holds dozens of meetings at the highest level and leads extensive discussions where we defend our principled position: Interpol should remain a non-political organization and develop as an effective tool for the cooperation of all countries in the fight against international crime," Ukraine’s Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov wrote on Facebook. 

Ukrainian law enforcers are convinced that Prokopchuk works for Russian intelligence, and his appointment to the highest position in Interpol could lead Russia to abuse the organization’s tools for political persecution of opponents in other countries.

Related: Ukraine's MFA comments on family ties of Ukrainian diplomat, candidate for Interpol president

“We have irrefutable information that Alexandr Prokopchuk, the main candidate for the new president of Interpol, is a Russian intelligence officer who has been infiltrated into Interpol. In the late 1980s, he worked for the KGB of the USSR (Directorate RT: Operations in USSR). He was working undercover at Pushkin Russian Language Institute was involved in the development of promising agents among students from the USA and Europe. In 1991, he was transferred to the "American" department of the KGB First Main Directorate (Strategic Intelligence)... He was engaged in espionage against the United States. In 2003, he was transferred to the bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation as part of a campaign on strengthening the police with special services personnel. But he still remains an employee of the special services of the Russian Federation," MP Anton Gerashchenko explained on Facebook.

The other countries support the position of the Ukrainian delegation in Interpol. According to the former special adviser on foreign Affairs David Clarke, Prokopchuk was responsible for compiling many of these trumped-up red notice when he was a government official of Russia.

“If a Russian Deputy Police Minister gets in leadership of Interpol EU states have to leave Interpol,” Rebecca Harms, member of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter.

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol is currently under consideration.

“We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases,” reads the appeal.

Related: Euro-MP Rebecca Harms urges EU member state to leave Interpol if Russia heads it

"Red notices" from the Russian Federation: Are the fears justified?

Russian Federation has repeatedly been accused of trying to get a "red notice" (in fact, an international arrest warrant) to neutralize the opponents of the existing government.

 

Open source

Such a notification allows detaining a person in any country that is a member of Interpol and to extradite this person. In this case, the bank accounts of the detainee might be completely frozen. 

According to the BBC, at the initiative of the Russian authorities, such notifications were issued for:

American financier and critic of President Putin’s Bill Browder, who was arrested in Spain, but later released;

Former leader of the Chechen separatists Akhmed Zakayev, who was held by the Danish authorities for a month on charges of murdering a man who appeared to be alive;

Russian journalist and Khimki Forest activist Pyotr Silaev, who was detained by the Spanish authorities, but later released when he managed to prove that the case against him was politically motivated;

Russian fighter against corruption and a colleague of Alexey Navalny (critic of corruption and of Russian President Vladimir Putin) Nikita Kulachenkov, who was arrested in Cyprus while traveling to meet his family; he was not extradited to Russia since the charges against him were also recognized as politically motivated.

Related: Interpol detains curator of government-hired thug who beat Euromaidan activists

That is, fears on the part of Ukraine and a number of other countries are fully justified.

What to expect in the future?

Voting for the new head of Interpol should take place on Wednesday, November 21. Ukraine hopes that by that time all delegations of countries would learn the situation and would not support Prokopchuk’s candidacy.

Currently, there are not too many assumptions concerning the possible candidacy of the Interpol head. The second confirmed candidate for this position is South Korean police officer Kim Yong Yang, current interim president of Interpol.

There is also reason to believe that South Africa might nominate its candidate. 

As was reported before, Meng Hongwei, who served as Interpol president as well as China’s vice minister for public security, went missing on his return to China in late September. On October 7, Chinese authorities – still not revealing Meng’s whereabouts or status – transmitted Meng’s resignation to Interpol.

Related: Worker of Ukrainian Interpol and Europol kidnapped person

Read the original text at 112.ua.  

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