The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

To which the wife of a banker of Azerbaijan lowered $ 21 million in one of the stores in London


Source: with the BBC

For the first time, the National Crime Prevention Agency (NCA) has demanded that the source of wealth from a foreign national be revealed. The demand was made at the beginning of the year, but the identity of the defendant was revealed only now.

Фото: Depositphotos

According to Air force, it’s about the wife of the former head of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, Zamira Khadzhiyeva, who, according to court documents, led a luxurious lifestyle, spending about 16 million pounds (more than $ 21 million) in Harrods department store alone, and also purchased real estate more than 20 million pounds (over $ 26.35 million).

Her name became known to the public after the term of the court order for the media had expired on non-disclosure of this information. Journalists insisted that these data should be disclosed in the public interest.

The British authorities had previously received the right to send inquiries about assets of unknown origin to owners of assets valued at 50 thousand pounds (about $ 66 thousand).

First of all, we are talking about suspects in criminal activity, as well as about influential political figures from countries outside the European Economic Area.

Hadzhieva's trial began in the London High Court in July. They demanded an explanation from the woman about two properties - a house worth 11,5 million pounds ($ 15.1 million) in the prestigious London district of Knightsbridge, as well as a land plot near the city of Ascot, acquired for 10,5 million pounds ($ 13.8 million).

If Khadzhiev cannot explain the origin of the money to buy real estate and land, the property may be confiscated.

Khadzhieva is the wife of the former head of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, Jahangir Khadzhiev, who in 2016 was sentenced in absentia by a Baku court to 15 years in prison on charges of embezzlement and fraud.

Khadzhiev denied all charges. At a hearing in London, the couple called them unfair. Lawyers for Khadzhiyeva stated that the mere fact of a request by the NCA does not mean that she or her husband had committed any crime.

In turn, NCA lawyers argued that the expenses of the Khadzhievs significantly exceed the earnings of Jahangir Khadzhiev at the International Bank of Azerbaijan.

During the hearings in London, it also turned out that Zamira Khadzhiyeva led a luxurious lifestyle in London. In particular, as stated in the court documents, she flew business jets, and over the past 10 years she spent at the London department store Harrods about 16 million pounds (more than $ 21 million).

Фото: Depositphotos

What is a request for property of unidentified origin?

A law allowing such requests was made to combat corrupt foreign officials and money laundering in the UK.

Investigators at the National Crime Agency believe that billions of dirty money of foreign origin were invested in real estate in the UK.

However, until now it has been extremely difficult to indict such people or confiscate their property due to lack of evidence. In accordance with the new law, suspects must explain in detail the origin of money.

If they fail to prove the legal origin of the capital, the National Crime Agency can apply to the High Court for property confiscation.

What is known about spouses Khadzhievs?

Jahangir Khadzhiev headed the International Bank of Azerbaijan from 2001 to 2015 for the year.

In 2016, he was convicted on 15 years of imprisonment after being convicted of fraud, in which tens of millions of dollars disappeared from the bank accounts. The court also appointed him a fine of almost 40 million dollars.

Seven years earlier, the company based in the British Virgin Islands acquired for 11,5 million pounds ($ 15.1 million) a house within walking distance of Harrods department store. The NCA states that this company is owned by Khadzhiev.

At 2013, another company owned by Zamira Khadzhiyeva acquired half of the elite Mill Ride Golf Club near Ascot.

Zamira Khadzhieva received an investor visa and has the right to permanently reside in the UK.

What did Hadjiev spend money on in the UK?

At the beginning of the trial, the Khadzhievs were named in the documents only as Mr and Mrs A.

It became known in court that for 10 years Zamira Khadzhieva spent more than £ 16 million (over $ 21 million) in Harrods department store - this is more than 4 thousand a day ($ 5270).

In court, evidence was presented that in one day she spent 150 thousand pounds ($ 197 628) on Boucheron’s products, which produce luxury jewelery, perfumery and watches.

Фото: Depositphotos

The next day, as was said during the hearing, she replenished her wine cellar, spending 1800 pounds ($ 2 371) on this.

On another day, she bought Cartier jewelry on 100 thousand pounds ($ 131 752), as well as gifts for her husband on 20 thousand ($ 26 350).

Khadzhiyeva had 35 bank cards issued by the International Bank of Azerbaijan, where her husband worked.

According to official data, the Khadzhievs also purchased two parking spaces in the Harrods private parking lot, and Zamira Khadzhiyev also bought a Gulfstream G550 aircraft for 42 million dollars, which later flew itself.

Does Hadzhiyev admit guilt?

No, she claims that she is not guilty of anything and is trying to cancel the request through the court. Lawyers for the Khadzhiyevs stated in the High Court that they were the victims of injustice.

Jahangir Khadzhiev denies that fraudulently withdrew large sums from his bank accounts. He filed an appeal, but the sentence was upheld. His lawyers claim that he quarreled with the ruling circles of Azerbaijan and paid for it with his freedom.

He encourages the European Court of Human Rights to consider his case.

Zamira Khadzhieva stated in a British court that her husband is an honest businessman who managed to get rich in business before he became the head of the bank.

But the National Agency for the Fight against Crime claims that between 1993 and 2015 for years, Khadzhiev was in the public service and could not earn such huge money.

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