Wife of disgraced Azeri banker detained in London

Mercedes supercar outside Harrods

Mercedes supercar outside Harrods

There, Hajiyeva's lavish lifestyle made her the first target of new legislation created to target suspected corrupt foreign officials who have potentially laundered stolen money through Britain.

An Azerbaijani woman who spent £16 million (US$20.87 million) at London's up-market Harrods department store and was the first to be targeted by new British legislation on "unexplained wealth" was freed on bail Thursday (Nov 8) as she fights an extradition request by Baku.

Hajiyeva, 55, is the first person to be subject to an Unexplained Wealth Order, a measure introduced by the United Kingdom at the beginning of the year in a bid to curb London's status as a haven for ill-gotten gains.

Her husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, was jailed in 2016 of fraud and embezzling the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan. Harrods department Store in Knightsbridge where Hajiyeva is said to have spent more than £16 million over a decade.

Her legal team argued that she was a "spendthrift" - not "a fraudster".

A judge at Westminster magistrates court initially ruled on Tuesday that Hajiyeva could be released on bail by paying a £500,000 bond.

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He said there were "substantial grounds to believe she would not surrender" to the court if she was granted bail.

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. Last week, jewellery worth £400,000 was seized from the auction house Christie's in connection with the case.

The wife of a crooked banker who blew £16million shopping at Harrods is fighting extradition to her homeland.

Lawyers for Hajiyeva said: 'The decision of the High Court upholding the grant of an Unexplained Wealth Order against Zamira Hajiyeva does not and should not be taken to imply any wrongdoing, whether on her part or that of her husband'.

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.

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