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West Kgn residents to get paid before year end

Published:Wednesday | December 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke

The Government of Jamaica is to dole out just under $200 million to west Kingston residents before the end of the year as compensation for damages accrued during the May 2010 operations by the security forces in their attempt to arrest former strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

Yesterday, justice minister Delroy Chuck laid out the process by which persons will be compensated, while insisting that the Government has the available funds to carry out the process.

"Let me say openly that the funds are here; the funds are available. So no one needs to say, when is the money going to come?" said Chuck.

"We want to pay out all the funds before December 31, 2017. We do not want any money to remain at the justice ministry in 2018, so I hope everyone comes for their money," the minister said.

The intention, Chuck said, was to have the payout before Christmas, but he said that it was only possible if the relevant information was provided.

He noted that the money was made available through the approved Supplementary Budget of Parliament last Wednesday and that discussions with the finance minister Audley Shaw regarding payments were positive.

Beneficiaries are being asked to visit the restorative justice centres in Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town to provide pertinent information, including a valid Tax Registration Number, bank account information, and a valid identification - a passport or driver's licence or any other relevant or valid piece of identification.

The justice ministry is acting in accordance with the recommendation as laid out by the West Kingston Compensation Committee, which sat for nine months. Close to 1,000 claim files were examined.

Carole Palmer, permanent secretary in the justice ministry, is advising claimants that no cash payments will be made, neither will cheques be drawn. Instead, money will only be paid out to a valid bank account.

Twenty million dollars more will be made available to the member of parliament and a few agencies to be used for filling out bullet holes in walls and to freshen up the affected areas of the community.