The convicted former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli has been deported from the UK to Ghana, his country of birth, after Home Office officials put him on a flight from Heathrow airport on Wednesday afternoon.
Adoboli, who was arrested in Glasgow on Monday when he went to report to the Home Office, was taken to Harmondsworth immigration removal centre on Monday. He was not informed about when and how he would be deported but on Wednesday afternoon he was taken by five escorts to Heathrow airport and was due to be put on a flight at about 5pm to be returned to Ghana, where he has not lived since the age of four.
The deportation comes after a long battle by Adoboli, his lawyers and a large and diverse group of supporters, to try to keep him in the UK.
Speaking to the Guardian on his way to the airport Adoboli, 38, vowed to continue his fight from Ghana to be allowed to live in the UK. He has called on the Home Office to implement a key recommendation in a report this summer from Stephen Shaw that foreign national offenders who have lived in the UK since childhood should not be deported.
Adoboli came to the UK at the age of 12 and attended school and university here.
“This Home Office policy to deport people who have been here since childhood is destroying the fabric of our society,” he said. “So many people are saying that this policy is too draconian. Even City commentators are saying that.”
Adoboli has received unprecedented levels of support from 138 MPs and MSPs. Celebrities including the actor Naomie Harris and broadcaster June Sarpong, trade unionists including Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, and Dave Prentice, the general secretary of Unison, as well as academics and business leaders have signed open letters to the home secretary calling for Adoboli to be allowed to remain in the UK.
But in a letter to Adoboli’s MP, Hannah Bardell, on Wednesday, Sajid Javid said that the Home Office had considered the individual circumstances of his case and decided that it did not meet any of the exceptions specified in legislation that could lead to halting the deportation and that the Home Office’s decision had been upheld by the courts.
In his letter, Javid said: “The public expects robust action to be taken against foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crime.”
Adoboli, 38, lost his most recent legal challenge when he sought permission in the immigration court for a judicial review of the refusal of his latest application to remain in the UK. This was not granted.
Adoboli was jailed for seven years in 2012 after being found guilty of fraud that cost UBS $2.3bn (£1.8bn). He was released after serving half his sentence.
Adoboli’s legal team argued that after he served his sentence for banking fraud, he had dedicated himself to public speaking and hosting workshops about improving probity in the finance sector, and warning people against making the kind of errors he did while working for UBS.
He has been working with the Forward Institute, which promotes responsible leadership in business and society.
Adoboli’s lawyer, Jacqueline McKenzie, of McKenzie Beute & Pope , said: “The home secretary should recognise that he has a discretion to look at a case again even though a deportation order has been made. He chose to maintain his position so the ongoing merits of deportation could not be scrutinised by an independent judge. He should recognise this rather than hiding behind the intention of parliament to deport foreign nationals or claiming justification in the public interest.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010