Woman who spent $29m at Harrods fights United Kingdom extradition

Postado Novembro 10, 2018

Britain's National Crime Agency wants to know where Hajiyeva got the money to fund her Harrods shopping sprees and buy two United Kingdom properties worth 22 million pounds ($29 million).

LONDON-A woman who spent 16 million pounds ($21 million) at the London luxury department store Harrods over the span of a decade became the first person arrested in the United Kingdom under new investigative powers that target unexplained wealth.

Mrs Hajiyeva, who lives in an £11.5 million home in Knightsbridge near to Harrods, became the first person to be served a UWO - dubbed McMafia laws - by the National Crime Agency (NCA) last month.

Hajiyeva's husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, was chairman of the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan from 2001 to 2015.

A judge at Westminster magistrates court ruled on Tuesday that Hajiyeva could be released on bail under certain conditions, including remaining at her Knightsbridge home, reporting to police daily and paying a £500,000 bond.

This year, a court heard how Hajiyeva had spent more than £16m at Harrods over a 10-year period.

Her lawyers say she is no "fraudster".

However at the High Court on Thursday, the judge, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, granted bail, adding there were no "substantial grounds" to deny it.

Hajiyeva, who was not in court, must also report to a central London police station every day, has surrendered her passport and is banned from travelling outside London's M25 ring road. The orders allow authorities to seize assets from people suspected of corruption or links to organised crime until the owners account for how they were acquired.

Her husband was convicted in 2016 of defrauding a state-controlled Azerbaijan bank, which he once ran, out of millions of pounds.

Last week, the agency seized jewellery belonging to her family that was worth more than £400,000 and was due to be auctioned at Christie's auction house. The Azerbaijani woman must explain how she afforded the assets in question, otherwise she could lose them.

Her lawyers have said the wealth order "is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and it does not involve the finding of any criminal offense".