Alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa was arrested by Abu Dhabi police over the weekend, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa told reporters on Monday, October 17.
Espinosa is the son of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr and has long been hunted down by Philippine police. Abu Dhabi police arrested him at around 2 am Manila time, said Dela Rosa.
Speaking during a press conference on Monday, Dela Rosa said an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) tipped Philippine police on the whereabouts of Kerwin.
A 3-man team led by Senior Superintendent Bert Ferro, chief of the anti-illegal drugs group, flew to Abu Dhabi to work with local police.
“Merong nag-tip sa atin, merong tumawag na mga OFW doon sa Abu Dhabi at nagsasabi na nandiyan malapit sa building nila nakatira si Kerwin kaya nag dispatch agad ako ng 3-man team,” said Dela Rosa.
Kerwin, said Dela Rosa, managed to travel from Malaysia to Abu Dhabi in the weeks between his father’s surrender and the issuance of an arrest warrant. In Abu Dhabi, Kerwin supposedly tried to extend his stay legally, visiting travel agencies for help.
"Nagpapatulong kung paano ma-extend 'yung stay doon. Doon nalaman ng trabahante sa building na 'yun 'yung travel agency kasi paubos na 'yung time niya. Aarestuhin siya ng police for overstaying, 'di ba? So wino-work out niya na ma-extend siya. Doon siya nasunog," Dela Rosa added.
(He was asking for help so his stay could be extended. That's how workers in the building knew because his time was running out. Police would've arrested him for overstaying. So he was working out his extension. That’s how he got burned.)
Once the arrest warrant for Kerwin was out, the PNP alerted the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). The organization then issued a "red alert" for Kerwin.
An arrest warrant was recently issued against Kerwin for supposedly peddling drugsand possessing illegal firearms. His father, Mayor Espinosa, had earlier "surrendered" to Dela Rosa and even stayed inside the PNP chief's official residence.
Mayor Espinosa eventually returned to Albuera and was later arrested.
The younger Espinosa is under the custody of Abu Dhabi police. According to Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Constancio Vigno Jr., Espinosa will be held in Abu Dhabi pending local police's investigation of the alleged drug lord's possible illegal activities while in the United Arab Emirates.
UAE police are also investigating Kerwin Espinosa's friends who helped him facilitate his stay in the country.