A Balearic Court ruling on cases involving minors, confirmed yesterday that one of the illegal immigrants detained on Majorca on Wednesday who claimed he was under-age, is in fact not under 18 after all.

With tests carried out by National Police to confirm his age proving conclusive, the immigrant will therefore be sent to an internment centre in Valencia along with his 21 colleagues. The men had tried to slip unnoticed on a craft into Cala Pi in the municipality of Llucmajor, following a boat journey from Algeria. They appeared in Court in Palma yesterday to hear their fate.

Central Government sources in Palma said that it is not unusual for illegal immigrants to claim they are minors because were that to be the case, regional authorities would by law have to assume duty of care. Delegate Ramon Socias said that it is also possible that illegal immigrants lie about their nationality in order to delay decisions on whether or not they are entitled to stay in the host country. Socias said that the detentions had been made possible by a tip-off from Algerian authorities following the theft of a fishing boat.


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