This is the tourist visa Filipino drug lord used to enter UAE

According to sources, Espinosa arrived in Abu Dhabi using an authentic Philippine passport on August 1 via Etihad Airways flight 833 from Hong Kong.

Khaleej Times has managed to get its hands on the tourist visa used by Filipino drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to enter UAE.

The long-term single-entry visa was issued on July 26, 2016 in Dubai in the name of Rolan Eslabon Espinosa (Kerwin's real name), and shows his profession as sales representative.

Philippine authorities are coordinating with the Abu Dhabi Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for the immediate repatriation of the Philippines' No. 2 most wanted person involved in illegal drugs trade, who was arrested on Sunday night in Abu Dhabi.

Espinosa, 36, is the biggest drug lord in Eastern Visayas and No. 2 on the Philippines' most wanted list, senior superintendent Albert Ferro, acting director of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, told Khaleej Times.

"Our ambassador (Constancio Vingno, Jr.) is coordinating with the Ministry of Interior for the  possible repatriation to the Philippines of Espinosa," Ferro said. "There is no definite date yet for this but we will comply with the requirements so Kerwin can finally serve justice for the crimes he committed in our country."

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Ferro said: "The successful arrest of Kerwin was made possible following a tipoff from the UAE. Someone has seen Espinosa, who's always on Filipino news channel, and gave an anonymous information to the Philippine police."

"Our chief (PNP director general Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa) then coordinated with the Abu Dhabi Police to process the information and a team led by me was dispatched here last week to execute the arrest," Ferro continued.

"On Sunday, we got the red notice (an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol or the International Criminal Police Organization) from Lyon, France and our police attache provided this document to Abu Dhabi Police who initiated the arrest of Kerwin."

Dubai Police - who were working with their counterparts in Abu Dhabi - confirmed the arrest. 

"Kerwin is now under the custody of the Abu Dhabi CID following his arrest on Sunday night at 10pm," Philippine ambassador Constancion Vingno, Jr said. "As per information given to us by the PNP, he left the Philipines via the backdoor to Kuala Lumpur then proceeded to Hong Kong.

 

According to sources, Espinosa arrived in Abu Dhabi using an authentic Philippine passport on August 1 via Etihad Airways flight 833 from Hong Kong. He got a three-month visa issued on July 2016 from 7Wonders Tourism based in Dubai with a generic "sales representative" as his profession.

"As to how Kerwin was able to enter the UAE, that is still under investigation," Vingno said. "We don't know how many were involved but somebody must have sponsored him to enter the country and it was impossible for him to rent a flat since he's only a visitor," he explained.

Ferro, meanwhile, said he will file a request to local authorities to investigate a certain Sara, a long-time Abu Dhabi resident, "who might have harboured Kerwin". The Filipino police officer said Kerwin, together with his two body guards, lived in a flat along Khalifa Bin Zayed First Street.

With inputs from Amira Agarib

Who is Kerwin?

Espinosa, whose father (Rolando Espinosa Sr.) is the town mayor of Albuera, Leyte in southern Philippines, allegedly left the Philippines for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 21, nine days before the inauguration of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.

Mayor Espinosa, who surrendered to authorities on August 2, has admitted that his son is into the illegal drug trade but the younger Espinosa has gone into hiding, reportedly transiting from Malaysia to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Kerwin has also ignored several pleas for him to surrender from his father who is now detained at the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City, Leyte, following his arrest on October 5 after a police raid on his house yielded more than 11 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride (locally known as shabu) and several unlicensed guns. The mayor, who was arraigned on October 12, pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal possession of firearms.

Meanwhile, Philippine police filed cases against several government officials and civilians linked to the illegal drug operation of Espinosa. Authorities said at least 84 government officials, including a senator and policemen, and more than 150 civilians, including three journalists, are involved in the drug syndicate.

The tale of Philippines' Pablo Escobar


September 7, 1980 - Rolan Eslabon Espinosa was born in Cebu City

April 2011 - He was arrested over the attempted murder of a local official but was released on bail 

March 5, 2015 - He was again arrested in a drug raid in Ormoc City, Leyte but managed to get released

May 2016 - Rodrigo Duterte was elected 16th president of the Philippines. He vowed an intensified crackdown on illegal drugs

June 21, 2016 - Nine days before the inauguration of Duterte, Espinosa allegedly left the Philippines for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

August 1, 2016 - Espinosa arrived in Abu Dhabi via Etihad Airways from Hong Kong

August 2 - Mayor Espinosa surrendered to Philippine police chief director-general Ronald de la Rosa. The mayor stayed at the general's residence for "fear of his life."

August 10  - Six people were killed and high-powered firearms were recovered in an encounter in Albuera, Leyte. Philippine police said it happened outside the house of the mayor .

August 16 - Mayor Espinosa returned to Albuera and stayed at the town hall under police protection

August 19 - Vehicles, including brand new luxury cars allegedly owned by Kerwin, have been surrendered to police in Leyte.

September 23 - The alleged right-hand man of (Kerwin) Espinosa surrendered and turned over to the police Dh1.81m (P24 million) worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (locally known as shabu)

October 12 - Police filed cases against several government officials and civilians linked to the illegal drug operation of Espinosa. Authorities said at least 84 government officials, including a senator and policemen, and more than 150 civilians, including three journalists, are involved in the drug syndicate.

October 16 - Abu Dhabi police arrested Kerwin Espinosa

Source: khaleejtimes

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