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. Hajiyeva's United Kingdom properties are a 170-acre Mill Ride Golf & Country Club in Ascot and a home in the capital's Knightsbridge area.
THE wife of a "fat cat global banker" who was the subject of the first order made under so-called "McMafia" laws can be named after her bid to maintain her anonymity was rejected by a senior judge.
Jahangir Hajiyev was jailed in 2016 for fraud and embezzling the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan of millions of dollars but his wife, Zamira, has continued to live the high-life in London on the suspected proceeds of his crimes.
However, it was Hajiyeva's spending and the court case against her husband that alerted Britain's National Crime Agency who began to investigate.
Lawyers for Mrs Hajieyva told the High Court that she and her husband are suffering a massive injustice. The family deny the allegations.
United Kingdom law enforcement used a new tactic to target two of the couple's properties owned through a web of offshore companies - a grand double-fronted home in the heart of upmarket Knightsbridge, bought for £11.5 million in 2009, and a golf club in the wealthy suburban town of Ascot, Berkshire.
The UK's first target under the new anti-corruption law is Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, who owns a US$15 million home in London and spent $20 million on shopping at Harrods, British media reported Wednesday.
At an earlier court hearing, a lawyer for the NCA gave details of her spending at Harrods, a large chunk of it using 35 credit cards issued by her husband's bank. 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.
Lawyers for Mrs Hajiyeva said in a statement: '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 said the order "is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and it does not involve the finding of any criminal offence". Failure to do so, the BBC reported, would result in her losing her properties. Supperstone's written ruling made reference to a document prepared by Werner Capital from 2011 which stated his net worth to be about $72 million.
Donald Toon, Director for Economic Crime at the NCA, said: 'The NCA fully supports an open and transparent justice system that helps demonstrate our determination to ensure that the United Kingdom is not seen as a soft target for the investment of illicit finance.
"Where we can not determine a legitimate source for the funds used to purchase assets and prime property, it is absolutely right that we ask probing questions to uncover their origin", said Donald Toon, Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) director for economic crime. 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.