Sunday, June 19, 2022

Why did Philip Morris fund Interpol?

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It seems almost implausible, yet Philip Morris did finance Interpol through checks and even signed an agreement with the international police organization.

Inconvenient funding

Interpol is an international police organization whose head office is based in Lyon, since the idea of ​​creating such a group was originally born in France by Edmond Locard, professor of forensic medicine.

The creation of Interpol was rather tense. However, the organization was born and now has 195 member countries. Recognized for 50 years by the UN, its role is essentially the search for people by color codes: red for suspects, yellow for the missing and black for the identification of corpses. The blue code is used to obtain information, as for the green, they indicate individuals threatening public safety.

In 50 years of existence, Interpol has suffered many scandals. Judged as a poor institution with a budget of 136 million euros for 995 employees who work on 19 databases comprising a total of 66,000 active files. Countries are struggling to provide funds, which is why the organization is now appealing to private funding.

Private financing of Interpol: an ethical problem

As an international police organization, private funding is frowned upon. In 2011, for example, that of 20 million euros operated by FIFA caused a lot of ink to flow, especially following the corruption case in which the latter was wet.

But the same year, a contract signed with Philip Morris set fire to the powder. The 15 million allocated by the tobacco company were dedicated only to the training of police officers in order to help obtain information on cigarette smuggling. It is neither more nor less than lobbying completely sweeping away the impartiality of the organization.

But that’s not all, the tobacco companies obviously supplied the traffickers themselves. Suspicion which proved to be validated by the complaint in 2020 of Raoul Setrouk having unmasked Marlboro as an actor in international traffic. However, the partnership between Philip Morris and Interpol continued until its end in 2015.

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