You could get arrested for spending money now in the UK when you can’t explain your source of income.
The wife of a jailed state banker in Azerbaijan has been arrested after spending £16 million ($21 million) over a period of 10 years at the luxury department store Harrods.
Zamira Hajiyeva is being held under the unexplained wealth orders (UWO) obtained by the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) and has been ordered to explain how she paid for two properties worth £22 million ($29 million) in total, according to Britain’s Press Association.
She may be extradited. The Metropolitan Police have revealed she is wanted in her home country for fraud offenses when she appeared before Westminster Court on October 30.
Hajiyeva, aged 55 is the first person to be affected by the UWO’s, a new power granted law enforcement agencies this year to tackle suspected corruption.
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It simply empowers the law to demand how individuals ‘reasonably suspected of involvement’ or ‘being connected to a person involved’ in a serious crime were able to afford properties if their lawful income appears to be insufficient to afford it.
Hajiyeva had initially filed a lawsuit asking for anonymity in the case but lost it in October after a judge ruled that she didn’t make a good case enough.
She now has to explain how she can afford the property or lose it otherwise. Hajiyeva’s husband, Jahangir Hajiyeva, was chairman of the state-controlled International Bank of Azerbaijan from 2001 until his resignation in 2015. He was later sentenced to 15 years on fraud and embezzlement charges.
Each property is worth around £11.5 million ($15.1 million) and located in the exclusive London area of Knightsbridge where Harrods also is.
It is believed the unexplained wealth order rule will help curb corruption.