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UK: Meet The Woman Who Blew £16m Harrods Shopping

By Published October 10, 2018

The woman at the centre of an elaborate financial investigation, who spent more than £16 million at highbrow Harrods department store has been exposed as Zamira Hajiyeva, wife of a jailed Azerbaijani banker.

The 55-year-old, who has lived in Knightsbridge, London, for more than a decade, is the subject of the UK's first unexplained wealth order (UWO), amid allegations that she used stolen money to fund her lavish lifestyle including a £16 million in Harrods over a ten-year period.

Mrs Hajiyeva owns £15 million house and also bought the Mill Ride golf and country club in Ascot for £10.5 million all funded via offshore accounts and 35 different credit cards.

Until now, Zamira’s identity had been shrouded in mystery due to a court order which was challenged by some UK media organisations at the appeal court which ruled the cloak of secrecy be lifted.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) alleges that Mrs Hajiyev used fraudulent funds to purchase her home which is just a short walk from the famous Harrods department store.

It was alleged that she paid a deposit of £4 million for the house in 2009 and had cleared her £7.4 million mortgage in just five years.

Documents lodged at the High Court stated: "The NCA's enquiries have not identified evidence which otherwise suggests (contrary to Home Office records) that R1 [Mrs Hajiyev] has been a successful businesswoman or entrepreneur in her own right or that she has received significant income from other sources."

Zamira’s husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, is the former chairman of the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2016 for defrauding the bank out £2.2billion.

NCA investigators claimed her credit cards were issued by her husband’s bank to fund shopping sprees and on one occasion had spent £150,000 on jewellery, £35 million private jet and a wine cellar stocked with some of the world’s most expensive vintages.

Zamira’s application to discharge the UWO was unsuccessful but her lawyers are appealing that judgment.

Justice Supperstone has ordered that Hajiyeva must comply with the UWO and explain how she came upon the funds used to fund the property purchases or forfeit them.

Her lawyers have argued that her husband was a legitimate businessman, whose wealth was the result of a number of shrewd business deals.

 

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