Many Bhutanese have been conned over the years. Even as we speak, many could be in the process of being hoodwinked by fake agents, promising good jobs abroad and good future.

It is important that we know where and who to go to. Lack of information, or rather quick and unthinking way of doing things, leads to disastrous and regrettable decisions.

Bhutanese are increasingly applying for visas to go to places like the UK, Australia and the USA. Many carry with them a dream – a dream to be successful and to return with a good load of money. One must dream a good dream, all right. What is important is that we know full well how to achieve that dream.

Philanthropy is a word that is grand and beautiful. In the world we live in, however, we increasingly feel the absolute lack of it. No one is going to give out free money, so to speak.

Many Bhutanese are spending their income of a lifetime to invest in procuring visas to go abroad to work. This speaks loudly about the lack of employment opportunities in the country. As long as this trend continues, more and more Bhutanese will seek out ways to go abroad.

But, really, what kinds of jobs are available abroad? How safe are working conditions? We need to think this through before we decide to apply for a visa. There have been reports of Bhutanese working abroad having to take difficult decisions due to overly trying circumstances they are compelled to confront.

What is worrying, however, is that some people are getting into the business of fooling others with a promise of visas and employment abroad. Many Bhutanese have lost their money this way, trusting the fake agents.

Recently, a Bhutanese and his Indian partner together took away more than Nu 9 million from 20 Bhutanese with a promise of Australian visas. They were given the visa, only it happened to be a sham. This is disturbing.

It is good news that now a local centre for Australian visas is in the process of being set up. This will save many Bhutanese from getting cheated with false promises.

It is important that we know what to do and who to approach when we seek foreign visa. Con artists are everywhere and they increasingly employ smart bait to loop the victims in. The least we could do is to use the benefit of caution and sound judgement.

And, those engaged in cheating the people must be found and punished.