Zamira Hajiyeva

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Zamira Hajiyeva
Born 18 July 1963
Residence Knightsbridge, London, England
Nationality Azerbaijani
Known for Spending £16 million at Harrods
First recipient of a UK Unexplained Wealth Order
Spouse(s) Jahangir Hajiyev
Children 2 sons, 1 daughter
Walton Street, London SW3 in 2007

Zamira Hajiyeva (Azerbaijani: Zamirə Şirəli qızı Hacıyeva) (born 18 July 1963) is an Azerbaijani national resident in the United Kingdom, who in 2018 became the first recipient of an Unexplained Wealth Order, under a new UK anti-corruption law. She was known as "Mrs A" during the proceedings before her identity was revealed.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Zamira Hajiyeva was born on 18 July 1963. During her first marriage, she had a daughter,[2] Leyla. In 1997 she married Jahangir Hajiyev, later the chairman of the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan from 2001 to March 2015. On 14 October 2016, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of fraud, embezzlement, and misappropriation of public funds.[1] The fraud is as much as £2.2 billion.[3]

The couple have two sons.[4] Leyla was recorded in court documents as having a £15 million share portfolio[5] and is married to Anar Mahmudov, the son of Eldar Mahmudov, Azerbaijan's former Security Minister.[6][7]

Kidnapping[edit]

In February 2005, Hajiyeva was kidnapped as she left the Magic Lady beauty salon in Baku, and held to ransom. Azerbaijan media and the BBC reported that the kidnap was carried out by the police officer Haji Mammadov (Hacı Məmmədov), chief operating officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and his bodyguard who were part of a criminal gang.[8][9][10] During an operation in March that year codenamed Black Belt, which resulted in Hajiyeva's release, gun shots were fired and at least one person died.[11] Mammadov claimed during his trial in 2006 that he was acting on the orders of Zakir Nasirov, head of the Interior Ministry's Chief Criminal Investigation Department.[8]

Move to Britain[edit]

Hajiyeva was granted permission to live in the United Kingdom by the Home Office under an investor visa.[1] She applied for indefinite leave to remain in 2015 and may now be a British citizen.[2]

In 2016, she was placed under arrest in absentia by an Azerbaijan court in connection with her husband's activities.[12][13]

Unexplained Wealth Order[edit]

Harrods at Night, 2012

Since arriving in the UK, Hajiyeva has spent significant sums of money that the British authorities say are out of keeping with her husband's official salary. In 2018, she became the first person to receive an Unexplained Wealth Order, under a new UK anti-corruption law, and has to provide a "clear account" of the source of her spending which included:[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Casciani, Dominic (10 October 2018). "Woman who spent £16m in Harrods revealed". Retrieved 10 October 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  2. ^ a b Unmasked! The fraudster’s wife who splashed £11.5m on a Knightsbridge mansion. 11news.ru 11 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Neate, Rupert (10 October 2018). "'McMafia' law: woman who spent £16m at Harrods is jailed banker's wife". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  4. ^ O’Neill, Sean (11 October 2018). "'Mrs McMafia' Zamira Hajiyeva was waved into Britain". The Times. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Bentham, Martin (10 October 2018). "Revealed: name of £16m Harrods big spender facing McMafia-style 'dirty money' probe". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Azerbaijan: Media report former MNS head created "shadow government" and prepared overthrow". Panorama.am. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Family wealth of former National Security Minister". Meydan TV. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b Hacı Məmmədov: "Cahangir Hacıyevin arvadını oğurlamağı Zakir Nəsirov sifariş edib". Trend News Agency, 9 August 2006. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  9. ^ Hacı Məmmədov kim idi? BBC, 4 December 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  10. ^ Zamirə Hacıyeva kimidir? BBC, 10 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  11. ^ Vətəndaş Zamirə Şirəli qızı Hacıyevanın oğurlanması cinayətinin açılması üçün görülmüş əməliyyat-axtarış tədbirləri barədə. Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 11 March 2005. Archived at archive.is Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  12. ^ Ex-head of Azerbaijan’s largest bank embezzled €125mn, finds investigation. bne Intellinews, 24 June 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  13. ^ Harrods big spender fights to keep mansion. Dominic Casciani, BBC News, 25 July 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.

External links[edit]