Wife Of Jailed Azerbaijani Banker Detained In London

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

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

There, Hajiyeva's lavish lifestyle made her the first target of new legislation created to target suspected corrupt foreign officials who have potentially laundered stolen money through Britain.

LONDON-A woman who spent 16 million pounds ($21 million) at the London luxury department store Harrods over the span of a decade became the first person arrested in the United Kingdom under new investigative powers that target unexplained wealth.

Hajiyeva, 55, is the first person to be subject to an Unexplained Wealth Order, a measure introduced by the United Kingdom at the beginning of the year in a bid to curb London's status as a haven for ill-gotten gains.

She is also the subject of a separate investigation in her home country of Azerbaijan, where her husband, former International Bank of Azerbaijan Chairman Jahangir Hajiyev, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2016 for fraud and embezzlement. Harrods department Store in Knightsbridge where Hajiyeva is said to have spent more than £16 million over a decade.

Her lawyers say she is no "fraudster".

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.

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Mrs Hajiyeva's release on bail is subject to a £500,000 bond and arrangements for an electronic tagging device to be installed at her Knightsbridge home.

Announcing the new powers in February, the Home Office said in a statement, "A UWO requires a person who is reasonably suspected of involvement in, or of being connected to a person involved in, serious crime to explain the nature and extent of their interest in particular property, and to explain how the property was obtained, where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the respondent's known lawfully obtained income would be insufficient to allow the respondent to obtain the property".

Prosecutors immediately appealed, meaning she will remain in custody, with the appeal hearing expected to take place on Thursday at the High Court. In addition, the Agency revealed she's got nearly 50 items of jewellery, put up for sale by auction house Christie's.

The wife of a crooked banker who blew £16million shopping at Harrods is fighting extradition to her homeland.

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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