400,000 pounds worth of jewelry belonging to Zamira Hajiyeva, wife of the jailed chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, Jahangir Hajiyev were confiscated during the UK’s first “McMafia like” money laundering investigation. British media has been reporting about it.
The court has authorized the National Crime Agency (NCA) to seize 49 different types of jewelry. At present, Zamira Hajiyeva is at risk of losing two properties worth 22 million pounds in England, a matter under investigation.
Thus, NCA has seized the jewelry Leyla Mahmudova, Zamira Hajiyeva’s daughter brought to “Christie Auction House” to sell. It has been noted that it is required to provide the sources of how the jewelry was obtained. Therefore, there has been determined 6 months for investigation. It should be mentioned that Zamira Hajiyeva’s daughter Leyla is married to former Minister of National Security, Eldar Mahmudov’s son.
There are also the following among the confiscated items:
- Boucheron sapphires and necklaces made from ruby – 120,000 pounds
- Magic Alhambra bracelet – 20,000 pounds
- Van Cleef & Arpels pearl necklace – 20,000 pounds
- Cartier diamond necklace – 9,000 pounds
- Diamond necklace set – 6,000 pounds
Interestingly, one of the items confiscated – 20,000 pounds worth pearl necklace is one of the pieces of jewelry Jahangir Hajiyev bought in 2008 while on vacation in Swiss ski resort, San Moritz. At that time, the chairman of the International Bank, in total, spent about €320,000 on jewelry.
Last month, the NCA found out that Zamira Hajiyeva had spent 16.3 million pounds over the course of 10 years at Harrods, one of London's most expensive shopping centers. Banker’s wife only in one visit spent 150,000 pounds on Boucheron luxury jewelry items. She used 35 different credit cards for her purchases belonging to the International Bank.
In addition, Zamira Hajiyeva owned Gulfstream G550 airplane worth 42 million USD, 7.5 hectares golf club worth 10,5 million pounds an apartment in London’s center worth 7.5 million pounds.
Wife of the jailed banker has become a target of new anti-corruption legislation in Great Britain called Unexplained Wealth Order. NCA has demanded from Hajiyeva to disclose the legal sources of her properties. She has lost the court case on this, despite filing a lawsuit. Hajiyeva’s properties will be confiscated if she fails to disclose sources of the payments she made for the properties.
It is interesting that neither the Azerbaijani government nor the law enforcement agencies have made a statement on this investigation that is underway in Britain. However, in the practice of other countries, there is a practice of bringing into the country illegal wealth that has been accumulated by the citizens abroad. For example, a legal process is underway to return to the country former president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov’s daughter, Gulnara Karimova’s wealth that is being kept abroad.
has made a statement on this investigation that is underway in Britain. However, in the practice of other countries, there is a practice of bringing into the country illegal wealth that has been accumulated by the citizens abroad. For example, a legal process is underway to return to the country former president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov’s daughter, Gulnara Karimova’s wealth that is being kept abroad.