Interpol is supported by 158 member countries which contribute to an annual budget of about £45 million. It is administered by a secretariat in Lyons, but operations are conducted by national bureaux, usually located at a high level in national police forces.
The USA claimed that Interpol had become a liability in the fight against crime because its intelligence networks had been tapped by corrupt officials in league with terrorists and drug traffickers. A number of Interpol officials have been linked to the international drug trade in recent years. Manuel Noriega, the former Panamanian dictator convicted in 1992 of racketeering, conspiracy and trafficking, was a former chairman of Interpol's drugs committee. It is also reported that Saddam Hussein had used Iraq's membership of Interpol to continue drawing information form American police intelligence during the Gulf War.