Kerwin Espinosa arrested in Abu Dhabi —PNP chief

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Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Monday announced the arrest of suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa in Abu Dhabi.

Dela Rosa said Espinosa was arrested 2 a.m. Monday and is now in the custody of Abu Dhabi police.

“With the help of Abu Dhabi police, just this morning 2 a.m. our team arrested Kerwin Espinosa,” he said.

Dela Rosa said information from overseas Filipino workers in Abu Dhabi led to the arrest of Espinosa.

“Mayroong nag-tip sa atin. Mayroong tumawag na mga OFW doon sa Abu Dhabi at nagsasabi na nandyan malapit sa building nila nakatira si Kerwin kaya nag-dispatch agad ako ng three-man team,” he said.

Kerwin is the son of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, who was also recently arrested by the police for violation of Section 11, Article 2 of Republic Act 9165 and Section 28 of RA 1059.

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Dela Rosa said the PNP sent an anti-illegal drugs team headed by Senior Superintendent Albert Ferro to coordinate with the Abu Dhabi police in the operation against the younger Espinosa.

“Lumipad agad sila doon and pagdating is nag-coordinate sila sa Abu Dhabi police, also with the help of our police attache, si Senior Supt. Magalona. And doon siya nag-facilitate sa coordination hanggang nahuli ‘yung suspect na si Kerwin,” he said.

“Hindi sila pwede makasali sa actual arrest kaya nag-monitor lang sila. Ang humuli talaga Abu Dhabi police,” he added.

He also cited the participation of the Interpol in Espinosa’s arrest.

“Hindi pa natin naipasa agad dahil kakalabas lang ng warrant. Noong nagpalabas ng warrant, pinadala natin through Interpol na nagbigay ng advice doon sa police ng Abu Dhabi. Nauna na doon ‘yung ating team para makipag-coordinate through the liaison natin doon,” he said.

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“Hindi pa rin officially maka-act ‘yung Abu Dhabi kung walang Interpol notice. So sumunod na ‘yung ating Interpol red notice doon para mahuli na agad. Pero nagbigay ng impormasyon ‘yung ating team para ma-secure na ‘yung lugar na kinaroroonan niya,” he added.

He said Ferro’s team is still in Abu Dhabi processing the documents for the extradition of Espinosa.

“Kung ma-process ang documents niya baka bukas pwede na siya ibyahe. If not, depende sa first available flight right after the suspect is cleared to travel to the Philippines,” Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa said he believes Espinosa flew to Abu Dhabi from Malaysia.

“Wala pa naman tayong red notice na binigay noon. Bago lang lumabas ‘yung warrant nila doon. Lumipat siya doon from Abu Dhabi to Malaysia wala pang warrant. Pagdating niya doon sa Abu Dhabi, parang limitado lang ‘yung kanyang stay. Pumunta siya doon sa mga travel agency, nagpapatulong kung paano ma-extend ‘yung stay doon,” he said.

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“Doon nalaman ng mga trabahante sa building na ‘yun nung travel agency kasi paubos na ‘yung time niya. Aarestuhin siya ng pulis dahil overstaying siya, hindi ba? So wino-workout niya na ma-extend sya. Doon siya nasunog,” he added.

Dela Rosa even joked that he hopes Espinosa will not jump out of the plane.

“Sana huwag siya tumalon sa eroplano. Mamaya tumalon siya sa eroplano pagbintangan na naman ninyo pulis na nagtulak sa kanya sa eroplano,” he said.

In August, President Rodrigo Duterte identified Kerwin and his father Rolando Espinosa as being linked to illegal drugs.

He asked father and son to surrender or risk being killed if they resisted arrest. —ALG/KG, GMA News

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