Zamira Hajiyeva is wife of Azerbaijani banker, Jahangir Hajiyev, jailed for defrauding his state-owned bank out of as much as £2.2bn. Jahangir Hajiyev’s official salary as chairman of the IBA bank between 2001 and 2008 was a maximum of £54,000. However, Werner Capital, which manages property investments for wealthy people, produced a report in 2011 that stated he was worth £55m.
The court of appeal has lifted a veil of secrecy to allow the publication of details of the UK’s first unexplained wealth order (UWO), in which the National Crime Agency alleges that stolen funds were used to buy a £11.5m, five-bedroom property in Knightsbridge, 100 yards from the doors of Harrods. The court heard that Hajiyeva spent £16.3m at Harrods between 2006 and 2016. On one trip to the department store she spent £150,000 on products from the luxury jeweller Boucheron. The NCA said she used 35 credit cards issued by her husband’s bank to fund the Harrods spending spree.
The NCA also claims suspect cash funded the £10.5m purchase of Mill Ride golf and country club in Ascot via a company based in Guernsey. The Knightsbridge home was allegedly bought via a firm in the British Virgin Islands, which the NCA alleges is controlled by Hajiyeva. The court also heard that Hajiyeva had access to a $42m Gulfstream G550 jet and had a wine cellar stocked with some of the world’s most expensive bottles.
Transparency International, an anti-corruption campaign group, said it had identified more than £4bn of UK property bought by overseas buyers with suspect wealth.