Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli, 38, has spoken out about his immigration ordeal after he was deported from the UK to Ghana last week.
Despite efforts from Adoboli’s supporters, including his MP Hannah Bardell, the Home Office went ahead with its decision to remove him from country he has lived in since he was 12 years old.
Adoboli has been describing the details of his removal from the UK in an interview with Ghanaian news broadcaster Joy News.
He said he pleaded with the immigration enforcement officers removing him to allow him to call his family and friends but was initially denied the opportunity to do so.
He said: “I’m saying to them listen, you need to let me call my lawyers, you need to let me call my parents, you need to let me call my girlfriend because they don’t know what’s happening.”
Adoboli said he became anxious when the plane was getting ready to take off and he had not yet been able to contact his loved ones who were not aware that he was about to fly to Ghana.
“Effectively, all I wanted to do was say goodbye,” he said.
He was eventually able to call his dad and text his girlfriend to let them know he was on flight to Ghana, the country of his birth that he left when he was four years old.
Alice, Adoboli’s girlfriend, is devastated by his deportation, he said.
Adoboli, who was taken to Accra by five guards, said he felt as though he was treated like a piece of cargo.
The 38-year-old also used the interview to clarify that his fight was against deportation because of its long term consequences, not against returning to Ghana.
“Once you’re deported from one of the G20 nations or anywhere in the West, pretty much, you can’t return to that country for 10 years minimum. On top of that, you then have to apply to go back. But the test to decide whether you can go back is the same they do to decide whether they should deport you. So once they’ve deported you, actually, you’re never going back,” he told Joy News.
He added: “But even worse, once you’re deported from one of the G20 nations, because of information sharing, you can’t return to any of them. So basically, because I’ve been deported, I can’t go to Europe, I can’t go to America, I can’t go to Japan, I definitely can’t go to the UK.”
Despite not being able to return to Ghana on his own terms. Adoboli said he was humbled by the welcome he received from supporters.
“It’s the first time in seven years, in seven years, that I am free,” an emotional Adoboli told Joy News.
Keep Kweku, the organisation that campaigned for Adoboli to remain in the UK, have vowed to continue fighting for him.
They wrote on Twitter: “We will keep fighting and we hope you will join us. We won’t let the UK Home Office, Sajid Javid [and] Theresa May get away with so cruelly deporting our kind and loving friend who is effectively British…it will only get worse for others.”
Adoboli has also pledged that he will continue to work to overturn the decision.
He said: “This fight is not over.”