Jamaicans spending huge sums of money to find out if their spouse is cheating
Jamaica women and men are now forking out as much as $300,000 to find out if their lovers are cheating.
While catching a cheater can be difficult, a booming private investigation industry and the availability of infidelity testing services locally are helping more persons determine if their partners are giving them 'bun'.
One certified private investigator told The Sunday Gleaner that he has seen a steady increase in the number of clients wanting him to investigate their spouse who they suspect might be cheating.
His clients are not just based locally. In recent times, a few have been men living in Canada who have secured his services to keep tabs on females they are planning to marry from Jamaica.
Most of his local clients are, however, women who just want evidence, such as photos and videos, that document their partner's acts of cheating. In at least one case, the private investigator, who goes by the name 'Archangel', said a wife paid for his plane fare and his hotel stay so he could follow her husband to Miami to gather proof of his cheating.
"Not every information that we uncover we actually release, because sometimes it is not about the money or anything like that; but we have to consider people in terms of their psychological weakness or strength, having spoken to them and see what type of person they are," said Archangel, who was a member of the police force for 13 years before starting his private investigation company four years ago.
"Some persons, you cannot tell them certain news, because you know they are going to have a psychological breakdown," he said.
Archangel said he and the members of his team are trained in the use of the latest technology and use a variety of gadgets to aid in their surveillance.
He said they sometimes give the women these gadgets to install in their house, so that their husband's infidelity can be recorded when they are away. Oftentimes, the suspicion is that their husband is cheating with a close friend or a co-worker.
"They would like to know what type of job the person is in, if the female comes to the house, or if they actually go to the place that the husband rents for this female," he said.
SURVEILLANCE MAY TAKE WEEKS
The private investigator said that the surveillance of a cheating spouse can go on for weeks and, at times, he even builds a relationship with the individual who would have no clue that they are being investigated. His longest assignment was seven weeks.
"That particular person had work and apparently he had some deadline trying to meet, and so he tried to avoid the whole heap of social meetings and was more focused. He was at the office most of the time and not engaged with the female, but as soon as there was a break from that, you saw some activities," he explained.
According to Archangel, some persons are willing to spend big in order to satisfy their curiosity or "have peace of mind", and his organisation is often sought out because the private investigators employed are discreet.
"It's just like having a sickness and you are fretting because you are not sure, and when you actually find out that it's cancer, you actually do one of two things; you resolve to deal with it, or you just fret and die," he said.
The private investigators said travelling cost is one of the things that push up the charge, as well as the type of gadget used to secure evidence. Travelling to Montego Bay, for example, to track a spouse would cost an individual more than trailing an individual in Kingston or St Andrew.
But for those who just want confirmation of their spouse's infidelity and not necessarily details of their extramarital affair, there is also the option of having an infidelity test conducted at Caribbean Genetics (CARIGEN), which is based at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.
Chief DNA analyst at the facility, Compton Beecher, noted that while their infidelity testing service is just a minor part of its operation and is not publicised, both men and women have brought in items of clothing, such as undergarments, which they want to be tested for semen.
"It (infidelity testing) is really just designed for those individuals that may think something is going on and you are just not sure, and they just want to find out themselves," Beecher told The Sunday Gleaner.
"So they may find like underwear that has something looking like semen on it, that they know they didn't put there; or they see something on the men's clothing like vaginal fluid," he said.
"If, for example, they know that they were not there; maybe they went away for a weekend and they came back and found some stain on the couch that looks like a fresh semen stain that wasn't there before, then they bring that.
"They don't bring the couch, but they may bring a swab of the area. We will guide them in terms of what they need to do to collect the sample," he explained.
If the test confirms that it is semen on the underwear, then a DNA profile can be done by the lab to exclude the concerned individual. A standard semen test costs $4,500. However, if the individual needs a DNA profile to be done, that will cost an additional $18,000.
Beecher explained that individuals can carry in the item they wish to have tested, or they can be given a kit to take home and collect the semen and take back to the lab.
"For the most part, they bring in something. They bring in clothing or some other material," he said.