Crimes are not common in Bhutan though there can be petty crimes such as pick pocketing and purse snatching. Due to its remoteness, isolation and small internal security network Bhutan has attracted several insurgent groups who are fighting the Indian security forces that use the kingdom as their hideout and for their training camps. Nepalese immigrants who settled down in Bhutan in 1900s as farmers in order to tap new economic opportunities here are now demanding for representation in the government and democratization of the regime. They have emerged as armed threatening groups known as Ngolops and have been accused of kidnappings, rape, extortion and armed robbery.
However, travelers need not worry about them because their itineraries are pre-planned and they will always be accompanied by trained guides and drivers and will move only across safe and secure roads. If you are the victim of a crime in Bhutan or there has been theft or loss of your U.S. passport, report immediately to the local police and the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi for assistance. The Embassy’s consular staff can help you to understand the local criminal justice process, find an attorney, find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and transfer funds, if needed. They can assist you in dealing with the investigation and prosecution of the crime and dealing with the local authorities. Bhutan is prone to earthquakes, so heed and listen to local precautions.
Do not forget to take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel to Bhutan, as directed by your physician. Take measures to keep mosquitoes away such as using mosquito safety nets and mosquito repellent creams. Do not go barefoot and keep your feet clean and dry to avoid fungal and parasitic infections. Do not purchase food from vendors, do not share needles with anyone and do not drink beverages with ice. Drink only bottled water and eat thoroughly cooked food only. It is advisable to avoid crowded public places and public transportation. To avoid being a victim of motor vehicle trauma, which is very common in Bhutan, it is recommended to wear seatbelts and avoid night driving in the mountainous roads of Bhutan that have poor visibility and so many blind bends.