Zamira Hajiyeva, wife of jailed banker, named as subject of 'McMafia' order

Anonymity order over mystery 'unexplained wealth' target lifted

Hajiyeva, originally from Azerbaijan, is the wife of Jahangir Hajiyev, the former chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan.

'The NCA's case is that the UWO is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and it does not involve the finding of any criminal offence.

Mrs. Hajiyeva told the United Kingdom court her husband was a man "of substantial means" at the time of the purchase of the house but records in the court case showed his bank salary was around $70,000.

The National Crime Agency alleges that Mrs Hajiyev used fraudulent funds to purchase her home which is just a short walk from the famous Harrods department store.

There was a £11.5 million ($20 million) London home close to Harrods and a golf course outside the city worth £10.5 million ($18 million).

And she has become the first person to be subject to an unexplained wealth order. The NCA alleges that this money - and the money used to acquire the properties - was cash that her husband embezzled when he was employed by the bank.

Last week, a High Court judge dismissed Ms Hajiyev's application to drop the UWO, but discharged an order to keep her identity anonymous. He was also ordered to pay the bank $39 million.

"Nobody knows precisely how much dirty money is trying to be laundered through Britain because London is one of the biggest financial centers in the world", Penrose told ABC News.

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In 2013, another company controlled by Mrs Hajiyeva spent more than £10m buying Mill Ride Golf Club in Berkshire, a plush course and estate near Ascot.

The wife of a "fat cat" banker, who spent more than £16 million at Harrods, can finally be named after a judge rejected her bid for anonymity.

Duncan Hames, director of policy at Transparency International UK, said: 'We are delighted that this first case is progressing in court, underlining the effectiveness of Unexplained Wealth Orders in targeting suspicious wealth. Transparency International says it has identified £4.4 billion ($5.8 billion) in United Kingdom property bought with suspicious wealth, while other anticorruption campaigners have sought to highlight the problem by taking journalists on "kleptocracy tours" around London's swankiest streets.

He is asking the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in his case.

The Azeri finance ministry said about $3 billion could have been misappropriated by Hajiyev, who denied the charges. The U.K. National Crime Agency, which brought the action against Mrs. Hajiyeva, estimates hundreds of billions of pounds of global crime proceeds are laundered through the country and its banks each year.

The new Unexplained Wealth Orders are an attempt to force the owners to disclose their wealth.

The crime agency argued the lavish spending was a sign the money was ill-gotten.

If a suspected corrupt foreign official, or their family, cannot show a legitimate source for their riches, then the National Crime Agency can apply to the High Court to seize the property.

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