Woman Who Spent 16 Million Pounds at Harrods Arrested Under New Powers

Harrods department Store in Knightsbridge where Hajiyeva is said to have spent more than £16 million over a decade

Harrods department Store in Knightsbridge where Hajiyeva is said to have spent more than £16 million over a decade

Separately, she is being scrutinised by Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA), who issued a UWO to demand that she explain where she got the £11.5 million to pay for her property in Knightsbridge, central London.

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.

Zamira Hajiyeva is the first person to be subject to an Unexplained Wealth Order, a measure aimed at curbing London's status as a haven for ill-gotten gains.

Hajiyeva's husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, was chairman of the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan; in 2016, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of fraud and embezzlement.

But prosecutors challenged the decision and she was detained in custody, being deemed a flight risk. A High Court judge ruled on Thursday that there were no "substantial grounds" to refuse her bail.

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

Her lawyer described her arrest as "an appalling shock" to her, according to the Financial Times.

Mrs Hajiyeva's release on bail is subject to a £500,000 bond and arrangements for an electronic tagging device to be installed at her Knightsbridge home.

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

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.

Mr Justice Supperstone dismissed her application to discharge the UWO, as well as an anonymity order preventing the identity of her and her husband, their country of origin, the bank her husband worked for, and the two properties.

Last week the agency, which investigates cross-border and organized crime, seized 49 items of jewelry worth 400,000 pounds from Christie's auction house, where Hajiyeva's daughter had taken them to be valued.

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