Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Wife Of Jailed Azerbaijani Banker Detained In London

Mercedes supercar outside Harrods A Qatari-registered Mercedes AMG GTS is driven past Harrods in London
Pablo Mccormick | 10 November, 2018, 04:38

Britain's National Crime Agency wants to know where Hajiyeva got the money to fund her Harrods shopping sprees and buy two United Kingdom properties worth 22 million pounds ($29 million).

British authorities want to know how Hajiyeva was able to spend 16 million pounds ($21 million) at luxury London department store Harrods and buy properties worth 22 million pounds ($29 million).

An address belonging to Zamira Hajiyeva, who is the subject of the first two unexplained wealth orders obtained by the UK National Crime Agency.

Hajiyev's husband Jahangir was jailed in 2016 for embezzling money from the International Bank of Azerbaijan, where he was chairman.

She is now in custody after having her bail request turned down.

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But judge Jeremy Baker at London's High Court ruled there were not "substantial grounds" to believe she would leave the country.

Her legal team argued that she was a "spendthrift" - not "a fraudster".

Ms Hajiyeva is subject to an unexplained wealth order, which allows British officials to seize money from people suspected of generating income through corrupt means.

However, prosecutors appealed the decision, meaning she will remain in custody pending an appeal on November 8.

After a brief court appearance at Westminster Magistrates' Court she swapped her £15million Knightsbridge mansion for a prison cell as her bid for bail was blocked.

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Mr Justice Supperstone dismissed her application to discharge the UWO, as well as an anonymity order preventing the identity of her and her husband, their country of origin, the bank her husband worked for, and the two properties. Last week, jewellery worth £400,000 was seized from the auction house Christie's in connection with the case.

She is now in an isolation cell and her extradition to Azerbaijan is under consideration.

Mrs Hajiyeva, who lives in a £15m house near to the London store, is wanted by the authorities in Azerbaijan for an alleged conspiracy to defraud the Azerbaijani national bank.

Her lawyers have said the wealth order "is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and it does not involve the finding of any criminal offense".

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