Woman who spent $21M at Harrods bailed, fights extradition

London detains wife of jailed Azerbaijani banker

Separately, she is under scrutiny by Britain's National Crime Agency, who issued a so-called Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) demanding that she explain where she got the £11.5 million to pay for her property in Knightsbridge.

She is under investigation by Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA), which in February secured the country's first-ever unexplained wealth order (UWO) to target Hajiyeva's wealth.

Ms Hajiyeva's husband was sentenced to 15 years in an Azerbaijan jail in 2016, after he was convicted for embezzlement having defrauded the bank of up to $3.9 billion.

But prosecutors challenged the decision and she was detained in custody, being deemed a flight risk. While he languished in a prison cell, she had continued to live in London where she spent £16m in the upmarket Harrods store over a decade, court documents revealed last month.

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.

But her lawyers said she is no "fraudster" - just a "spendthrift" - and was not likely to flee the country because her children were based in the UK.


Ms Hajiyeva also bought an $20.7 million five-bedroom home which, according to UK's The Guardian, was roughly 90 metres from the Harrods doors. She will will appeal the decision to refuse her bail at London's High Court today, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Westminster magistrates court in London ruled that the wife of the financier can be released on bail on certain conditions, including the prohibition to leave the house in the fashionable residential area of Knightsbridge, the need to report daily to the police and the payment of bail of 500 thousand pounds (572 thousand euros). The Azerbaijani woman must explain how she afforded the assets in question, otherwise she could lose them.

She is now in an isolation cell and her extradition to Azerbaijan is under consideration.

Police also seized jewellery worth more than £400,000 last week while it was being valued by the worldwide auction house Christie's.

Hajiyeva has denied any wrongdoing.

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