Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Woman who spent $21M at Harrods arrested, faces extradition

Woman who spent $21M at Harrods arrested, faces extradition

Britain's National Crime Agency wants to know where Hajiyeva got the money to fund her Harrods shopping sprees and buy two United Kingdom properties worth 22 million pounds ($29 million).

The woman, who has spent 16 million pounds (18 million euros) in a luxury Department store, Harrods of London, facing extradition.

Mrs Hajiyeva, who lives in an £11.5 million home in Knightsbridge near to Harrods, became the first person to be served a UWO - dubbed McMafia laws - by the National Crime Agency (NCA) last month.

Hajiyeva's husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, who was formerly chair of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, is now serving a 15-year prison sentence in Azerbaijan for his part in embezzling $138 million.

She was granted bail last Tuesday but prosecutors lodged an appeal, arguing that she posed a flight risk. A High Court judge ruled Thursday that there were no "substantial grounds" to refuse her bail.

Over the course of a decade, the 55-year-old spent up big at the department store, with a court hearing she bought $180,000 worth of Cartier jewellery.

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Under the order, the NCA can apply to court to seize property when a suspected corrupt foreign official, or their family, cannot identify a legitimate source of the funds used for buying it.

Police first went after Mrs Hajiyeva in February but her lawyers had claimed that her husband was the victim of an unfair trial.

Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot agreed that Mrs Hajiyeva could be released on bail as long as she pays £500,000 as a guarantee, stays at her home in Knightsbridge, does not travel outside the M25 and reports to police every day.

On Oct. 30, the National Crime Agency seized more than 400,000 pounds worth of jewelry, and she has been ordered by the courts to explain how she could afford property worth 22 million pounds in the UK.

Her husband was the chairman of the state-controlled International Bank of Azerbaijan from 2001 until his resignation in 2015, and was subsequently jailed for fraud and embezzlement.

Hajiyeva denies wrongdoing and is fighting to overturn the order and hang on to her assets.

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