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News

Torres elders doubt Eddie David claims

June 11, 2015 1:15 am

Torres Strait Island elders have cast doubt on claims by an immigration detainee that he was born in the region in Australia’s north, saying they have no recollection of him.

To properly establish his identity, elders from Murray and Yam Islands want to know the lineage of the 39-year-man calling himself Eddie David, held at the Yongah Hill Detention Centre, north-east of Perth since Friday.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is certain he is in fact a Fiji national, by the name Rinay Rekash Singh, who arrived in Australia in early 1998.

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The Department has used fingerprint analysis and facial comparisons in its investigation.

David had initially claimed he was born on Murray Island in 1976 but is not sure which region because his father died when he was young, his mother was absent, and he is illiterate and an alcoholic.

David denies his parents are Fijian or has any link at all to Fiji.

He claims he was previously detained by the Immigration Department three or four years ago, but was quickly released after authorities realized he is not Singh.

The department has confirmed officers questioned him at an Immigration Detention Facility in 2012. It did not say why he was released.

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