Jailed banker's wife who spent £16m at Harrods can finally be named

Anonymity order over mystery 'unexplained wealth' target lifted

Woman who spent £16 million in Harrods named as first person investigated under new 'suspicious wealth' orders

Hajiyeva's London home is one minute's walk from Harrods, where she spent 16 million pounds in a decade, sometimes splashing out tens of thousands of pounds a week, according to prosecutors.

The NCA wealth order "does not and should not be taken to imply any wrongdoing, whether on her part or that of her husband", her attorney, Thomas Garner, said by email.

Her husband, a former chairman of the Bank of Azerbaijan, has been convicted of fraud and embezzlement.

The National Crime Agency is seeking two UWOs against Hajiyeva - one regarding the £11.5m Knightsbridge property and another relating to a golf club near Ascot built on land owned by a company connected to her.

Ms Hajiyeva had tried to remain anonymous while she was being investigated, but this week, Britain's High Court lifted her anonymity order, CNN reported.

The wife of a "fat cat" banker, who spent more than £16 million at Harrods, can finally be named after a judge rejected her bid for anonymity.

She is now facing the possibility of losing assets including her two United Kingdom properties. Hajiyeva also owns a golf course in Berkshire through a company she controls. Following his conviction at a court in Baku, he has been ordered to pay back some $39 million.

On another occasion she spent £100,000 on Cartier jewellery and £20,000 on luxury men's goods.

The NCA had alleged Hajiyeva bought two properties using money embezzled by her husband when he worked for the IBA.

She also travelled the world in a Gulfstream private jet, drinking the finest wines and wearing expensive jewellery.

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"UWOs should now be used more widely to pursue more of the £4.4 billion worth of suspicious wealth we have identified across the United Kingdom".

Anticorruption group Transparency International UK welcomed the latest developments.

The most interesting aspect of last week's High Court ruling is the limited scope it provides for...

The Azeri finance ministry said about $3 billion could have been misappropriated by Hajiyev, who denied the charges.

They noted it is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure.

UWOs are civil orders which "require [s] the owners of assets worth £50,000 or more to explain how they were able to afford them when their declared income seems to be too low", says the Financial Times.

During her unsuccessful challenge to the Unexplained Wealth Order, Mrs Hajiyeva said her husband was a legitimate businessman who had become independently wealthy thanks to a string of successful businesses, before becoming a chairman at the bank.

The government suspects billions of pounds of dirty money raised from crime and corruption is invested in British property, but investigators could not prove the source of the cash was illegal.

Jonathan Hall QC, who is representing the NCA, said: "as a state employee between 1993 and 2015, it is very unlikely that such a position would have generated sufficient income to fund the acquisition of the property".

If a suspected corrupt foreign official, or their family, cannot show a legitimate source for their riches, then the National Crime Agency can apply to the High Court to seize the property.

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