Visayas ‘drug lord’ Kerwin Espinosa arrested in Abu Dhabi
Alleged bigtime drug lord Roland “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr., son of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Ronaldo Espinosa Sr. has been arrested by the police in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Philippine National Police (PNP) Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa announced on Monday.
At a press conference in Camp Crame, Dela Rosa said Espinosa was arrested in Abu Dhabi at about 2 a.m. Monday (Manila Time) in an operation conducted by the Abu Dhabi police and PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) in coordination with Interpol.
“Just this morning around 2 a.m., our team from AIDG led by Senior Superintendent (Albert) Ferro in coordination with criminal investigation division of the Abu Dhabi police arrested the drug lord Kerwin Espinosa,” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa said Filipinos working in Abu Dhabi saw Espinosa and reported his presence to him.
He then sent a police team to arrest the alleged bigtime drug lord operating in the Visayas.
The PNP chief said Espinosa was under the custody of the Abu Dhabi police.
“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.
Espinosa is currently under the custody of the Abu Dhabi police for processing.
As soon as the documentary requirements for his arrest are completed, the police chief said Ferro’s team would immediately bring Espinosa back to the Philippines.
“Kung matapos nila ‘yung documentary requirements today baka bukas pwede sila bumiyahe. If not, depende sa first available flight right after the suspect is cleared to travel to the Philippines,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Leyte police filed criminal complaints against the Espinosas and seven others, including a Cebu town mayor and three media men allegedly involved in Kerwin’s drug syndicate.
Following the 24-hour ultimatum President Duterte issued against the Albuera mayor and his son in August, the older Espinosa surrendered to Dela Rosa. Kerwin then was still in hiding. He left for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, via a Cebu Pacific flight on June 21.
While in Manila, Dela Rosa allowed the mayor and his family to stay in his official residence called the “White House” inside the PNP headquarters. He later evicted them after they failed to convince Kerwin to turn himself in to authorities.
The mayor is detained in Baybay City, Leyte, after police raided his house and found more than 11 kilos of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and several illegal firearms.
Dela Rosa earlier said Kerwin’s source of shabu was drug lord Peter Co, who is detained at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP). CBB
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