Jailed Banker’s Wife Loses Final Appeal on U.K. Asset Freeze

The wife of a jailed Azeri banker lost a U.K. Supreme Court challenge to the country’s first unexplained wealth order, the National Crime Agency said Monday.

The ruling means that Zamira Hajiyeva, who was identified as part of a crackdown linked to overseas corruption, must provide the NCA with information on her assets. The wealth order prevents Hajiyeva from selling or transferring a golf club outside London and her home steps away from Harrods, which the NCA said are worth more than 22 million pounds ($29 million).

Hajiyeva attracted attention from British authorities after spending 16 million pounds across Europe, including at London’s Harrods department store.

The court ruling “is important in establishing unexplained wealth orders as a powerful tool for financial investigations” and “will set a helpful precedent” for future cases, said Graeme Biggar, the director general of the NCA’s national economic crime center.

Read more:‘Fat Cat’ Banker’s Wife Unmasked Amid Fight for Golf Club, House

Her husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, the former head of the government-controlledInternational Bank of Azerbaijan, is serving a 16-year prison sentence in the former Soviet state for abuse of his office. Even though his annual earnings as a state employee never went beyond $70,000 and his wife had no significant income, she owned a pair of properties in the upscale Knightsbridge area of London.

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