#KeepKweku: Former jailed banker Kweku Adoboli taken to Dungavel detention centre ahead of deportation

Ben Wray

Adoboli had been public since his release with his criticisms of the high-risk culture in the banking world and a system “designed to protect the senior guys”

KWEKU ADOBOLI, who was jailed for banking fraud in 2012, faces imminent deportation to Ghana, after being taken to Dungavel detention centre yesterday [3 September].

Campaigners fighting for his release say the detention comes despite ongoing legal and political representations on Adoboli’s behalf by his lawyers and his local MP, Hanna Bardell.

“We will fight these extraordinarily aggressive moves made by the Home Office through all the political and legal avenues available and we continue to call upon the Home Secretary Sajid Javid to exercise his discretionary powers to release Kweku from detention and revoke the deportation order,” they stated on their campaign facebook page.

Adoboli’s representatives issued a statement saying after Bardell’s intervention Javid was “now considering the many compelling reasons” to allow Adoboli to stay, while his lawyer is issuing a “fresh claim submission” to the home office.

READ MORE: ‘What happened at the bank had nothing to do with my nationality’: former jailed banker Kweku Adoboli on his fight against imminent deportation

In June this year Adoboli’s appeal against his deportation order was rejected by the Court of Appeal. 

Despite being released from prison in 2015, UK Government policy states that any foreign national sentenced to more than four years is deported automatically, despite the fact Adoboli left Ghana at the age of four and has spent the vast majority of his life in the UK after settling at age 12.

However, the Home Secretary has the power to exercise discretion when ther are “clear and compelling reasons to do so”. An independent report for the UK Government into the welfare in detention of vulnerable persons in 2016, the Shaw Review, found that the home office should no longer routinely seek to deport those born or brought up in the UK.

READ MORE: MP of Edinburgh resident given temporary reprieve from deportation blames Home Office ‘incompetence and callousness’ for her situation

Adoboli was involved in what has been described as the “largest trading loss in British banking history”, which it is claimed lost the UBS bank £1.4 billion and resulted in a £29.7 million fine. 

In an interview with CommonSpace last month, Adoboli said the deportation order had been expadited over the summer by the home office in order to force his deportation “when there’s no one around”.

He added: “When they asked to expedite it, I responded to the court by saying: ‘My barrister is on annual leave, and the first opportunity I’ll have to meet with her on the 10 of September. So, can you just wait until September, because as soon as you act, I need to respond within seven days?’ And the court turned around and said, ‘Sorry, mate.’ Which is just crazy – even if my application had no grounds, it’s in the interests of justice to await it.”

READ MORE – Reckless gamble: Meet the rogue trader risking everything to blow the whistle on the banking system

Since leaving prison Adoboli has spent much of his time highlighting the dangers of the high-risk culture of the finance sector based on his own experience, and his probation officer has told him that – since he no longer works or could work in the industry in which he committed his crime – he is at a lower risk of re-offending than someone who has never committed an offence.

Adoboli, who was a junior trader in UBS, has been critical of proposed regulatory reforms known as the senior manager regime which are supposed to make senior managers accountable for the wrongdoing of junior traders in their employment, saying the system remains “designed to protect the senior guys”.

Campaigners were calling on the public to support Adoboli by writing a letter to Javid, either through post, email or a tweet (Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, sajid.javid.mp@parliament.uk @sajidjavid), to contact their local MP about Adoboli’s case, to sign the petition, support the legal effort, and, finally, spread the message using the #KeepKweku hashtag.

Picture courtesy of thetaxhaven

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