Canadian Maximum Security Prison Has Prisoner Who Has Refused To Identify Himself For 7 Years

An immigration detention hearing went a little off kilter when the man seeking release from detention was asked to identify himself. About the only thing the Canadian government does know is that he’s not who he claims to be — a French citizen named Herman Emmanuel Fankem. He arrived in Montreal on a flight from Cuba on Oct. 28, 2012 and handed Customs a French passport. He had a reservation at a Days Inn in Montreal, $3,000 in a bank account, and a return airline ticket. He was given a 10-day visitor’s visa, but Fankem didn’t leave in 10 days. Six months later, Toronto police found that out when they arrested him for fraud. He was immediately held in immigration custody awaiting deportation to France, but when he appeared in court, he refused to provide his real identity. The courts designated him “the Unknown Person” and since that time, he’s been held in a maximum-security prison. Until Canadian officials know his identity and nationality, they can't deport him, and until they can deport him, they can't release him. After years of international investigation spanning 11 countries on three continents, the mystery of his true identity remains.