Zamira Hajiyeva loses trial over first unexplained-wealth order in UK
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 5
Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of the former head of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) Jahangir Hajiyev, lost her fight to overturn the UK’s first unexplained-wealth order (UWO) - a tool heralded by police that forces individuals to prove that their funds are from legitimate sources, Trend reports referring to Bloomberg.
Zamira Hajiyeva, who was identified last year as part of a British crackdown on foreigners linked to overseas corruption, had fought the order after arguing that her husband’s conviction was “grossly unfair.”
Hajiyeva, who had no significant income of her own, attracted attention from British authorities after spending 16 million pounds ($20.9 million) across Europe, including at London’s Harrods department store.
On Feb. 5, a panel led by the Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett upheld the freezing order of a leafy golf club she owned outside London and her home steps away from Harrods. The order blocks her ability to sell or transfer any of the assets.
Zamira Hajiyeva became the first person to be served a UWO by the National Crime Agency in 2018. The UWO means she has to explain the origin of her fortune.
Hajiyeva was demanded to submit a declaration for a villa worth 25 million pounds, but she could not provide information. As a result, the property was confiscated by a court decision.
The agency also seized jewelry belonging to her family that was worth more than 400,000 pounds and was due to be auctioned at Christie’s auction house.
Later it was revealed at Westminster Magistrates Court in London that Hajiyeva was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police acting on an extradition request from the authorities in the Azerbaijan capital, Baku. Soon after that she was freed on bail.