Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
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Woman who spent €18 million at Harrods fights UK wealth order

Woman who spent €18 million at Harrods fights UK wealth order

For instance, the BBC reports, the London resident owns two properties valued at about $29 million and a Gulfstream jet worth more than $40 million, and she's had the resources to spend some $21 million at the London department store Harrods over the past decade.

Jahangir Hajiyev is the former chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan.

The High Court heard that the ultimate owners were Mrs Hajiyeva and her husband. He said the Unexplained Wealth Orders are the start of a crackdown on money laundering in the United Kingdom.

Hajiyeva denied wrongdoing and is fighting to overturn the order and hang onto her properties.

According to the United Kingdom judicial ruling last week, the Hajiyevs bought the house in the upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood of London in 2009 through a British Virgin Islands company, paying around £4 million of the £11.5 million purchase price upfront.

'Mrs Hajiyeva has made clear her intention to engage fully in the judicial process, and will present her case to the court as appropriate through her lawyers.

Hajiyeva's husband is Jahangir Hajiyev, the former head of the state bank of Azerbaijan who was sentenced to 15 years in jail after being convicted on fraud and embezzlement charges in 2016, the Associated Press reported. Judges also ordered him to repay $39m.

Hajiyeva used 35 credit cards linked to her husband's employer, the Bank of Azerbaijan, to finance her lifestyle, the AP reported. Between 2006 and 2016, Hajiyeva spent more than £16 million including £1,800 (£3,000) on wine and spirits in one day.

The wife of a "fat cat" banker, who spent more than £16 million at Harrods, can finally be named after a judge rejected her bid for anonymity.

The order requested by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and upheld by the courts will require her to explain how she came to have such enormous wealth. Unless her appeal succeeds, she will have to explain further the source of the wealth used to pay for the home and the golf club just outside London. The U.K. National Crime Agency, which brought the action against Mrs. Hajiyeva, estimates hundreds of billions of pounds of worldwide crime proceeds are laundered through the country and its banks each year.

"They enable the United Kingdom to more effectively target the problem of money-laundering through prime real estate in London and across the United Kingdom, and we will now seek to move further cases to the High Court".

'UWOs should now be used more widely to pursue more of the £4.4 billion worth of suspicious wealth we have identified across the United Kingdom'.

Her lawyers added that the order "is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and it does not involve the finding of any criminal offense", according to the AP.

Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) successfully applied for an UWO in February against Hajiyeva after demanding she reveal the source of her wealth or risk losing the properties.

The unexplained wealth order is a new power given to law enforcement agencies this year to tackle suspected corruption.

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