BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 21
Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of the former head of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) Jahangir Hajiyev, has lost her appeal against a £22 million confiscation order, Trend reports citing Daily Mail.
The Supreme Court upheld two unexplained wealth orders against Zamira Hajiyeva, who spent £16 million shopping at Harrods.
Known as ‘McMafia orders’ –after the BBC gangland drama – the seizures were requested by the National Crime Agency.
Mrs. Hajiyeva, 57, whose husband Jahangir has been jailed for fraud in their native Azerbaijan, had been unable to explain how she was wealthy enough to buy her home in Knightsbridge and a golf course in Berkshire.
The mansion near Harrods was bought for £11.5million in 2009 by a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
The couple, who denies all wrongdoing, had been the subjects of Britain’s first-ever wealth orders.
‘There are no further routes for Mrs. Hajiyeva to appeal against the order. She will now be required to provide the NCA with the information we are seeking in connection with these assets.’
In her attempt to thwart the order in 2018, the High Court heard that Mrs. Hajiyeva spent more than £16million at Harrods between 2006 and 2016 – including £600,000 in one day. In February she failed to have the order dismissed at the Court of Appeal, which found that the NCA acted lawfully.
Lord Justice Burnett and two other senior judges said in their judgment at the time: ‘The relevant requirement for making a UWO is that the court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the known sources of the lawfully obtained income available [to the targeted individual] would have been insufficient to enable him or her to obtain the property. In the present case, Mr. Hajiyev’s conviction for fraud and embezzlement was only one of the strands.
‘There was evidence of Mr. Hajiyev’s status as a state employee and the unlikelihood that his legitimate income would have been sufficient to generate funds used to purchase the property.’