UAE probes Espinosa’s papers for possible immigration breach
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government is looking into the travel documents of alleged big time drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to study whether he violated immigration laws during his stay in the Middle Eastern country, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Tuesday.
This means the three-man team from the PNP’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Group sent to Abu Dhabi could not bring Espinosa back to the Philippines until the issue is resolved, PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in a press briefing at Camp Crame.
“The custody of Kerwin Espinosa is still with Abu Dhabi authorities. The Ministry of Interior is now looking if Kerwin violated any of the law while staying in UAE. If he has done a violation, his deportation will be delayed,” he said.
Carlos said from the Abu Dhabi police, the UAE’s Ministry of Interior took custody of Espinosa after his arrest 10 p.m. Sunday (2 a.m. Manila time) in an apartment by the authorities who acted on a tip from Filipinos working in the city.
The warrant of arrest served on Espinosa, son of Albuera, Leyte mayor Ronaldo Espinosa Sr., was issued by the Regional Trial Court of Baybay, Leyte for illegal possession of firearms. He was arrested by virtue of a Red Notice issued by Interpol.
“We hope that with the presence of our team there, mas mapabilis ‘yung access natin at kung maari, mapabilis din ‘yung proseso ng pag-transfer ng custody ni Kerwin sa PNP. Sana ay wala siyang nilabag na batas ng UAE para maging dahilan na mas ma-delay ‘yung deportation niya,” he said.
(We hope that with the presence of our team there. our access will be easier, and, if possible, the process of transferring Kerwin’s custody to the PNP would be expedited. Hopefully he had not violated any laws in the UAE that could case delay in his deportation.)
The PNP AIDG team composed of Senior Supt. Albert Ferro, AIDG chief, Senior Supt. Randy Peralta and Senior Supt. Alden Delvo flew to UAE last week after an OFW there reported Espinosa’s presence.
While in Abu Dhabi, Espinosa went to a travel agency to apply for an extension of his visa for fear of being arrested for overstaying.
Carlos said UAE authorities are still determining whether Espinosa used fake passports when he travelled to Abu Dhabi from Hong Kong. Before Hong Kong, the drug suspect reportedly fled to Malaysia last June 21.
According to the PNP, they monitored two arrival dates of Espinosa in Abu Dhabi, one on August 1 and September 23.
The police are also investigating whether there were individuals who coddled Espinosa while he was hiding in Abu Dhabi. CDG/rga
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