Flee­ing drug lord busted in the UAE

Filipino crim­i­nal ar­rested in Abu Dhabi fol­low­ing a tip-off from ex­pats

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu

A drug lord who was put on a ‘shoot-tokill’ list in the Philip­pines has been ar­rested as he hid out in Abu Dhabi, the am­bas­sador to the UAE has said.

Ker­win Espinosa Jr, 36, was caught on Sun­day night by Abu Dhabi Po­lice af­ter ex­pats tipped off the Philip­pines Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) that he had been spot­ted in the cap­i­tal.

He is be­lieved to have ar­rived from Hong Kong on Septem­ber 23, Philip­pines Am­bas­sador Con­stan­cio Vingno Jr told 7DAYS.

It is not clear how Espinosa (pic­tured) man­aged to en­ter the coun­try, but Philip­pines me­dia re­ported that he had un­der­gone fa­cial plas­tic surgery be­fore leav­ing the coun­try on June 1.

Espinosa is among the key drug sup­pli­ers tar­geted by Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. The hard-line politi­cian is­sued a ‘shoot-to-kill’ or­der against Espinosa af­ter he ig­nored calls to sur­ren­der to author­i­ties in Visayas.

He is the son of Al­buera mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr, who was ar­rested this month on charges of il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of dan­ger­ous drugs and firearms.

Vingno said: “Espinosa Jr is wanted by the Philip­pines gov­ern­ment on charges of deal­ing drugs.”

The am­bas­sador said of­fi­cers from PNP helped UAE author­i­ties track down Espinosa then the ar­rest was car­ried out by Abu Dhabi Po­lice. Vingno said is it likely that Espinosa had ac­com­plices in Abu Dhabi. He said: “UAE author­i­ties are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing how the drug dealer man­aged to get here and the peo­ple who spon­sored his visa and helped him get an apart­ment in Abu Dhabi.” Ear­lier yes­ter­day, PNP Chief Ron­ald Dela Rosa told a news con­fer­ence in Manila that In­ter­pol had is­sued a ‘red no­tice’, mean­ing po­lice in all mem­ber states were urged to ar­rest Espinosa at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity. He was quoted by CNN Philip­pines as say­ing that they re­ceived a tip-off from Filipino over­seas work­ers. Vingno said it is hoped Espinosa will be ex­tra­dited to Manila in the com­ing days. He said Espinosa has not yet been charged with any of­fence in the UAE, but if he is the process would be much more com­plex. He said: “The Philip­pines gov­ern­ment has made a re­quest to UAE author­i­ties to ex­tra­dite the drug dealer so he faces his charges back home. “I be­lieve this will take only a short time since the man has not been charged with any of­fence by UAE author­i­ties.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.