There are fears more asylum seekers have drowned in a bid to get to Australia after a number of lifejackets washed up on Cocos Island.
The Australian Federal Police said eight lifejackets were found on the island and officers were working with Customs to find out where they came from.
Locals believe the jackets were flotsam from a sunken asylum vessel.
It is understood one jacket contained a small amount of Iranian money.
Several asylum-seeker boats are believed to have sunk in recent years in the often dangerous seas to the north of Australia.
The biggest disaster was the SIEV X incident in 2001, when 350 asylum seekers drowned.
The AFP said anyone who found a lifejacket on the island should hand it to authorities.
“The AFP is making inquiries into the origin of the lifejackets,” a spokeswoman said.
The investigation comes as record numbers of asylum seeker vessels continue to arrive at Christmas Island.
Five asylum vessels carrying more than 300 people were picked up off Christmas Island at the (weekend, pushing already crowded detention (facilities there to breaking point.
The Federal Opposition said the new arrivals meant 10,000 asylum seekers had come to Australia by boat this year.
Last week, seven Vietnamese asylum seekers broke out of a remote detention camp in far north Queensland and boarded a Qantas flight to Cairns. Police found the group 13 hours later. The Federal Government has left the door open to hitting detention camp security provider Serco with financial penalties if it was found the company failed in its duties.
A group of 17 Palestinian asylum seekers were transferred to detention on Nauru at the weekend.
The Department of Immigration said the men arrived on Nauru on Saturday with detention centre staff, interpreters, doctors and AFP officers. It was the 17th group sent to the island nation but the first group of Palestinians.
The Government said it would continue sending asylum seekers to offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.
The move was among deterrent measures recommended by an expert panel including former defence force chief Angus Houston, refugee advocate Paris Aristotle and former diplomat Michael L’Estrange.