Families Takes out 'Life Insurance policies' on Gangsters in Jamaica

It appears a new trend is developing where relatives of notorious gunmen are taking out life insurance policies on them.

Senior officers in the East Kingston Police Division were left stunned two weeks ago when they received a letter from an insurance company requesting verification of the death of a man they had listed among the division's top gangsters.

According to the police sources, while they could confirm that the gangster, whose name is being withheld, was killed, they could not confirm the relatives' claim as to when and where he was killed.

"We know that he is dead. Our information is that he got shot in a yard ... and we went to KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) and saw his body," said a senior officer close to the investigation.

"Where his relatives reported that the incident happened, we don't have any reports of anything happening at that location, and we had police officers there at the time," added the cop.

He said the alleged gangster's infuriated mother turned up at the station challenging the police as to why they had not responded to the insurance company so that she could be paid.

"The instruction from the company was asking us to confirm the place and time of death and send a response directly to it, but we cannot send a response to the company if we don't know where and when the incident happened," said the officer.

He said that decision did not go down well with the mother who is anxious to collect her money.

Last week, Orville Johnson, executive director of the Insurance Association of Jamaica, and a representative of one of the island's leading insurance companies said it was not unusual for them to request death reports from the police.

"Insurance companies do not frivolously request police reports. If there is a request for a police report, then there is usually a good reason why the claims department is making such a request," said Johnson.

"Part of the job of the claims departments is to ensure that a claim is just," added Johnson.

In the meantime, a senior police officer told our news team that he is convinced that the practice of relatives taking out insurance policies for their unruly relatives is a growing one.

"We have at least two instances where this is the case, and based on observation and enquiries, it seems to be a trend where family members are opening insurance policies for relatives who are involved in criminality," said the officer who asked not to be named.