Sunday, May 28, 2023

Cairns Bhutanese Community in Australia expresses concern about fake refugee scandal


Kathmandu, 26 May (2023) - The Cairns Bhutanese Community (CBC) expresses deep concern and draws attention to the recent fraudulent cases in Nepal, where individuals falsely claiming to be Bhutanese refugees seeking resettlement in a third country have perpetrated a scam.

It is disheartening to witness the exploitation of vulnerable individuals for personal gain, especially considering the global attention on the plight of genuine refugees. Considering these fraudulent cases, CBC strongly urges the Government of Nepal to conduct a fair investigation and ensure that those responsible for this deceitful act are held accountable.

This scandal has had a profound impact on genuine resettled Bhutanese refugees, raising doubts about the integrity of our resettlement in core countries. It undermines the significance of our arduous journey and struggles endured in refugee camps for over two decades, as well as the invaluable support provided by the international community to Bhutanese refugees. These scams also have the potential to negatively impact and delay the resettlement processes and legal procedures for genuine refugees currently residing in Nepal.

Furthermore, this case contributes to negative perceptions, prejudice, and bias against genuine refugees, tarnishing trust, and credibility in the third-country resettlement process.

We strongly believe that this issue concerns all countries, including Australia, which have offered resettlement opportunities to Bhutanese refugees on purely humanitarian basis. CBC sincerely appeals to concerned countries to re-verify the authenticity of resettled Bhutanese refugees, if feasible. We also encourage individuals to report any suspicious families or individuals who have fraudulently claimed to be Bhutanese refugees to the relevant authorities. As resettled Bhutanese refugees and Australian citizens, we earnestly call for a just and equitable resolution that is acceptable to all sections of global society.
To safeguard genuine refugees and maintain the integrity of the resettlement process, the Cairns Bhutanese Community always remains committed to collaborating with the Nepalese government, international agencies including UNHCR, and other stakeholders.

We extend our sincere gratitude to the Government of Nepal for its ongoing investigation into these fraudulent activities.