Woman who spent £16m in Harrods released on bail

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 10, 2018

At Westminster Magistrates Court it was revealed that she was arrested last week by Metropolitan Police officers acting on an extradition request from authorities in Azerbaijan's capital Baku.

She faces two charges of embezzlement and has been been held in custody since giving herself up voluntarily last Tuesday.

Her husband Jahangir Hajiyev is serving a 15-year prison sentence for embezzlement while chairman of Azerbaijan International Bank.

She is under investigation by Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA), which in February secured the country's first-ever unexplained wealth order (UWO) to target Hajiyeva's wealth. However, the crown prosecution, acting on behalf of the Azeri government, appealed, pushing the bail decision to the High Court, which will make a decision November 8.

But prosecutors challenged the decision and she was detained in custody, being deemed a flight risk.

The court issuing the order also heard that she had spent more than £16 million at Harrods over a 10-year period.

Her lawyer described her arrest as "an appalling shock" to her, according to the Financial Times.

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.

Hajiyeva, who was not in court, must also report to a central London police station every day, has surrendered her passport and is banned from travelling outside London's M25 ring road.

Ms Hajiyeva is subject to an unexplained wealth order, which allows British officials to seize money from people suspected of generating income through corrupt means.

Police also seized jewellery worth more than £400,000 last week while it was being valued by the worldwide auction house Christie's.

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

Hajiyeva has denied any wrongdoing.

They said the UWO was part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and did not involve the finding of any criminal offence, and they said an application to appeal against the judge's order had been filed.

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