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

Zamira Hajiyeva spent a huge amount thanks to regular shopping sprees at Harrods

In this case, Hajiyeva, 55, must explain how she paid for the two aforementioned properties, per CNN, which include a home in London and golf course estate in Berkshire.

There was a £11.5 million ($20 million) London home close to Harrods and a golf course outside the city worth £10.5 million ($18 million).

Mrs Hajiyeva risks losing her property unless she can explain where the money used to purchase it originated from.

It all adds up to Hajiyeva becoming the first ever target of the UK's new Unexplained Wealth Order power, which targets foreign officials suspected of laundering stolen money through the UK.

"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". They have applied for permission to appeal against the order.

Unexplained Wealth Orders are created to target individuals who are unable to account for £50,000 (U.S. $66,000) or more of their wealth and are a civil - not criminal -action.

Mr. Hajiyev was IBA's chairman between 2001 and 2015.

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. He was also ordered to pay the bank $39 million.

Her identity can now be published after an anonymity order was lifted by a judge, who ruled "no good case" had been made for its extension. Hajiyeva is living in the United Kingdom under a visa program for wealthy investors.

How much money did the couple bring to the UK?

Jahangir Hajiyev was handed a 15-year jail term
Jahangir Hajiyev was handed a 15-year jail term

It prevented her or her husband Jahangir Hajiyev's identification, publication of their country of origin, the bank Mr Hajiyev worked for, and the location of the two properties.

Examples of her big spending, revealed to the court, included £150,000 spent on a single day on Boucheron - a luxury jewellery, perfume and watches brand.

Hajiyeva spent 16.3 million pounds ($21.3 million) under a loyalty card scheme at Harrods between 2006 and 2016, using 35 credit cards issued to her by the IBA.

However, a judge agreed to the anonymity order pending an appeal against the ruling.

Duncan Hames, director of policy at Transparency International UK, said: "We are delighted that this first case is progressing in court, underlining the effectiveness of Unexplained Wealth Orders in targeting suspicious wealth".

"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", he said.

Does Mrs Hajiyeva admit doing anything wrong?

Lawyers for Mrs Hajieyva told the High Court that she and her husband are suffering a massive injustice.

Lawyers for Mrs. Hajiyeva said in a statement provided to PA: "The decision of the High Court upholding the grant of an Unexplained Wealth Order against Zamira Hajiyeva does not and should not be taken to imply any wrong-doing, whether on her part or that of her husband".

They noted it is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure. Hajiyeva has denied any wrongdoing.

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