Australia

Authorities deport Fijian who claimed to be Indigenous Australian

Australian authorities have deported a detainee who claimed he is an Indigenous Australian, saying he was in fact Fijian Rinay Rekash Singh overstaying his visa since 1998. The man, calling himself Eddie David, 39, had been held in the Yongah Hill Detention Centre, 100 kilometres north-east of Perth, since June. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection […]

Newsdesk

October 3, 2015 9:53 am

Australian authorities have deported a detainee who claimed he is an Indigenous Australian, saying he was in fact Fijian Rinay Rekash Singh overstaying his visa since 1998.

Eddie-David---Facebook
Rinay Rekash Singh, who claimed to be Eddie David, an indigenous Australia. Photo: Facebook.

The man, calling himself Eddie David, 39, had been held in the Yongah Hill Detention Centre, 100 kilometres north-east of Perth, since June.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection was certain he was in fact Fijian man Rinay Rekash Singh, who arrived in Australia in early 1998.

It used fingerprint analysis and facial comparisons in its investigation.

He initially claimed he was born on Murray Island in the Torres Strait in 1976.

He later said he was from somewhere in the region but was not sure where because his father died when he was young, his mother was absent, and he was illiterate and an alcoholic.

He claimed there had been a terrible mistake.

“I am Aboriginal, I am an Australian citizen, born and bred of this land,” he said from Yongah Hill in June.

“I shouldn’t be in this detention centre. If it was a fraud, they should have put me in the cell, in the lock-up, in the jail, not a detention centre.”

However, elders from the Torres Strait said they had never heard of him and wanted to know his lineage.

A department spokesman today confirmed a Fijian national had been removed from Australia.

“People who have exhausted all outstanding avenues to remain in Australia and have no lawful basis to remain are expected to depart,” the spokesman said.

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