SUSPECTED Eastern Visayas drug lord Rolan ‘Kerwin’ Espinosa remained in an Abu Dhabi detention facility eight days after he was arrested and placed under investigation for violation of immigration law by local authorities, the Journal Group learned.
A Philippine National Police team headed by PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group director, Senior Superintendent Albert Ignatius D. Ferro returned to the country last Thursday and are awaiting word from the Philippine Embassy for the decision on the case of Espinosa who is being held at the maximum-security Al Wathba jail.
As soon as Abu Dhabi authorities free him within the next few weeks, the PNP team will return to Abu Dhabi to escort Espinosa to Manila where he will be initially taken to the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame for questioning before being transferred to the custody of the Police Regional Office 8 headed by Chief Supt., Elmer C. Beltejar.
Officials said that Espinosa—described as the 2nd most wanted “high-value” drug target in the Philippines — could be released in a month’s time since Abu Dhabi authorities want to find out who helped Espinosa flee to Abu Dhabi and stay there for weeks until his cover was blown.
PNP chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa said some overseas Filipino workers informed him of the presence of the suspect in Abu Dhabi when they spotted him in a travel agency trying to work out the extension of his visa.
The other Sunday, Espinosa was arrested by agents of the Abu Dhabi State Security Department and Criminal Investigation Division on the strength of a Red Notice issued by Interpol-Lyons and in coordination with a PNP team.
Apart from Ferro, the other members of the team who have already returned to the country are Senior Supts. Randy Feralta and Alden Delvo. The PNP team was accompanied by the PNP attache in Middle East, Senior Supt. Enrique Magalona.
Sources said that Espinosa faces some penalty and even a jail term for violating Abu Dhabi’s immigration laws but his immediate return to the country will depend on arrangements between Manila and Abu Dhabi. The Bureau of Immigration said that the young Espinosa left the Philippines for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last June 21 via a Cebu Pacific flight. There were reports however that he went to Abu Dhabi via Hong Kong.