Azeri banker’s high-spending wife targeted by new British anti-graft powers
11 Oct 2018

The first target of new British powers to combat the proceeds of suspected corruption is the wife of a jailed Azeri banker who spent more than 16 million pounds ($21 million) at department store Harrods, London’s High Court has revealed.

An anonymity order was lifted after Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of the former chairman of Azerbaijan’s largest bank, last week lost an appeal against an attempt by authorities to seize two properties worth about 22 million pounds using an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO).

The onus is now on the owner to show that any asset worth more than 50,000 pounds was obtained by legitimate means, rather than for police to have to prove it was obtained illegally.

Hajiyeva’s husband Jahangir Hajiyev, who was chairman of state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) from 2001 to 2015, was convicted by an Azeri court in 2016 of fraud and embezzlement and sentenced to 15 years in jail.

– By Michael Holden, Andrew MacAskill, Reuters, 10 October 2018.

Link to Reuters.

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