Jan 19, 2010, 2:16 PM
We have over the years written on these pages about the seemingly unending reports of desperate immigrants being swindled by unscrupulous elements in society.
Almost on a daily basis, you hear or see reports of people being swindled by unscrupulous persons who give their victims the impression that they can provide them with visas, notably UK and American visas, the ones which are most sought after.
This, according to our own findings, is done mostly to youths, who could have stayed and worked to earn a living here in their own country, but who out of desperation to reach Europe or America, would pay huge amounts of money only to end up being fooled.
And, as if this is not enough, most people now resort to internet cafes, where they spend a lot of their time searching for websites that they think could give them the opportunity to travel overseas.
Sometime last year, the US Embassy in Banjul issued a statement describing as “fraudulent”, notifications by email informing people, most of whom are desperate to travel, that they are a Diversity Visa winner (the Green Card Lottery).
In that statement, the embassy said it has been receiving many inquiries recently concerning these notifications by email, and stated clearly that all of these emails are “fraudulent”.
This alone should serve as a warning to those persons that they are being fooled by people who cannot provide them with visas but just want to make money.
We would once again like to renew our call for would-be travellers to go through the right channel to obtain their visas, so as to avoid being swindled.
So long as they depend on questionable sources to get visas, they will always be victims of undesirable elements, who are just lurking around to prey on the next victim.
This also brings us to the more important issue of the need for our governments to have a critical study of the issue of illegal migration, and come up with possible solutions that would remedy the situation.
Like many African countries, The Gambia has lost many of its citizens, mainly youths, on the dangerous seas between Spain and Morocco.
What our youths should also understand about the dream of Europe or America is that all that glitters is not gold.
In so many cases when people have succeeded in making it there, they find themselves in such unexpected situations that they have to lead lives of terrible poverty, and suffer shocking discrimination.
Africa has a lot of potential and one should therefore be steadfast.
The search for greener pastures should not be pursued as a matter of life and death.
We cannot continue seeing our youths risking their lives in the sea on a daily basis.
Enough is Enough!
“Be a terror to the butchers, that they may be fair in their weight; and keep hucksters and fraudulent dealers in awe, for the same reason.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra