Kerwin Espinosa now held at Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba Prison

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The extradition of Roland “Kerwin” Espinosa, Jr. could take a week, said Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno, Jr., who also confirmed to The Filipino Times that the alleged drug lord has been transferred to Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba Prison pending completion of an ongoing investigation by the emirate’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

“Sa tingin ko baka magtagal ng kaunti, baka one or two weeks. Kung wala namang kaso laban sa kanya, pauuwiin na sya, paper work na lang yun,” Vingno said in an exclusive phone interview. (I think it will take a while, around one or two weeks. If there is case against him, he will be sent home, with some paperwork.)

Vingno said he went to Al Wathba Prison this morning to see Espinosa but was told by the jail’s authorities that visitation is not allowed at the moment.

Vingno said he went to the detention center with the 3 officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Among them was Senior Superintendent Albert Ferro – head of the PNP Anti-illegal Drugs Group – who had informed operatives of Abu Dhabi’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) about Espinosa’s whereabouts in the city that led to his arrest on Sunday, October 16.

Apparently the 3 PNP officials were the ones who would bring Espinosa back to the Philippines.

Wednesdays are regular embassy visitation days at Al Wathba Prison where about 150 overseas Filipino workers are serving time for offenses ranging from absconding of labor contracts to drugs, unpaid loans and immorality.

If his schedule allows, Vingno goes to the jail facility to check the incarcerated Filipinos state of being.

“Ginamit ko na nga yung regular visitation day to see him (Espinosa) pero di pa rin kami pinayagan. Hindi daw naming pwedeng kausapin kasi iniimbestigahan pa sya,” Vingno said. (I used the regular visitation day but we were still not allowed. We're told that we're not allowed to talk to him because he's still under investigation.)

He added, “Baka umuwi muna ang mga PNP officials. Pag naayos na ang paperwork at saka na lang sila babalik para madala nila siya sa Pilipinas.” (The PNP officials might go home first. Once all paper works are done, they'll just just go back to bring him back to the Philippines.)

The investigation is standard procedure to determine whether Espinosa had violated any UAE laws during his stay. If cleared, his deportation will be processed, officials said. –

This story was republished with permission from The Filipino Times of the United Arab Emirates