Kweku Adoboli, the former trader who was found guilty of causing a $2.3bn (£1.8bn) financial loss, has been detained by the Home Office as preparations for his deportation to Ghana begin.
Adoboli, 38, was jailed in 2012 for the fraud, which was the biggest in UK history. He was freed after serving half of his seven-year sentence.
The former trader, who is Ghanaian, has not lived in Ghana since he was four years old and describes himself as British. Foreign nationals sentenced to more than four years are automatically considered for deportation unless they can show that there are compelling reasons to allow them to stay in the country.
Adoboli, who has been living in Scotland with friends since his release, was detained today when he made his fortnightly check-in at a police station in Livingston. He was taken to Dungavel, an immigration removal centre in Scotland.
A letter seen by the Guardian from Home Office minister Caroline Nokes has confirmed the government’s intention to deport him from the UK to Ghana, his country of birth.
Since leaving custody in June 2015, Kweku has participated in dozens of events, speaking to thousands of students, and has worked with several organisations involved in improving corporate governance and compliance within the financial industry.
He has appealed to the home secretary, Sajid Javid, not to deport him because of his longstanding ties with the UK and the fact that he is working hard to educate people to avoid making the same mistakes he made at UBS.
His solicitor, Jacqueline McKenzie, said the case raised wider issues about the deportation of offenders who have grown up in the UK and are settled here. “This is a really unfair situation for Kweku,” she said.
A court recently denied him permission for a judicial review of the deportation proceedings, and granted a request by the Home Office to be allowed to deport him even if he renews his application for a review.
His MP, Hannah Bardell, has appealed to the Home Office to stay removal proceedings against Adoboli, but in a letter dated 24 August, Nokes wrote that the Home Office was satisfied its actions had been proportionate and that all the issues raised, such as the length of time Adoboli had lived in the UK, had been fully considered. “As such, the arrangements for Mr Adoboli’s deportation to Ghana will proceed,” she wrote.
Adoboli has launched a CrowdJustice campaign to raise funds to help pay his legal bills.
Adoboli’s friend Nick Hopewell-Smith said: “Kweku has already served a swingeing term for mistakes that he made on behalf of his employer, UBS, and never for his own benefit. To punish him a second time with deportation from his real home is inhumane and clearly unjust.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “All foreign nationals who are given a custodial sentence will be considered for removal. Foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes in the UK should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them and we have removed more than 42,800 foreign offenders since 2010.
“We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”