A woman married to a jailed banker managed to spend £16m in Harrods without raising suspicions.
The wife of a convicted Azerbaijani banker spent £30,000 in one day on luxury chocolates during an incredible £16 million spending spree at Harrods. It is perhaps the shopping bill to end all shopping bills.
Zamira Hajiyeva, currently fighting the UK’s first Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO), used 54 credit cards – many of which were linked to her husband’s bank – to go on a massive spending spree in the west London department store over a decade.
Zamira Shirali qizi Hajiyeva is an Azerbaijani woman, currently resident in the United Kingdom. She is married to Jahangir Hajiyev, a former chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan who has since been jailed there for financial crimes.
Mrs. Hajiyeva risks losing her £15m home near Harrods – plus a Berkshire golf course worth millions more on top – if she fails to explain the source of her wealth to the High Court.
Her husband is serving a 15-year sentence in their local Azerbaijan for thieving millions from a public bank.
The papers in the battle against the National Crime Agency, now seen for the first time, disclose the thorough investigation into Mrs. Hajiyeva’s day-to-day expenditure and complex off-shore property arrangements.
The permanent UK resident lives less than a five-minute walk from Harrods. Not only was it her local shop, but she also owned two bays in its private car park.
And one of the key papers in the case is a 93-page statement from the store’s loyalty card scheme: in effect a record of her unusual shopping spree.
That spending began right after she sought to stay in the UK – having been kidnapped in Azerbaijan the year before.
She began modestly in the beginning – spending £842 on children’s books and £140 on perfume.
Before the season was out, she’d discovered the Cartier jewelry counter – which might become certainly one of her favorite locations – in which till recorded she spent £181 on 1 October.
Later came £1,600 of Miu Miu designer clothes and an additional £1,539 on Ferragamo shoes.
In March 2007, she was back at Miu Miu and spent £10,616 on among her 25 American Express cards.
Then the amounts started initially to soar. There clearly was an unspecified payment to Harrods in excess of £66,000 and a lot more than £17,000 for goods from the designer Tom Dixon.
The Harrods in London
The scale of Zamira Hajiyeva spending can be laid bare for the first time on Tuesday after a tranche of High Court documents was released to the media.
Transactions, linked to three separate loyalty cards and 35 credit cards issued by her husband’s bank, are detailed across 95 pages.
Total spending: £16,309,077.87
Just after midday on 20 June 2008 she paid £925 at the underwear and socks counter.
One hour and three minutes later, the Cartier jewelry till received payment for £433,389.79 – the largest clearly identifiable spend on the schedule
Then, rounding off the day, she paid £374 for a “men’s designer” item.
Days later she was back to spend £8,387 on the Israeli designer Elie Tahari and £847 on perfume. Having taken a day or so off, she returned on 26 June to spend £17,000 in three purchases at a luxury watches counter.
The most curious payment is £99,000, which went through the till at “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” – Disney’s then exclusive boutique in the store.
It’s not clear what this is for, given that the boutique charged £1,000 an hour for a prince or princess children’s make-over.
That mystery aside, she was not short of credit that particular day – another £160,000 went on Boucheron jewelry.
And so it went on – six-figure spend at Cartier and Boucheron, five-figure outlays to top designers and then visits Harrods’ cafes, restaurants and food halls.
Not all of the spending was on herself – she once paid £1,371 on gift-wrapping in a single trip (and almost £6,200 overall) and would regularly buy men’s luxury goods. The mother of three also spent £250,000 in the Harrods toy department – where the gifts are so exclusive they may not be on sale anywhere else in the world.
The grand total? She blew £16,309,077.87 in Harrods between 29 September 2006 and 14 June 2016 – and almost £6m of it could be directly linked back to 35 credit cards issued by the bank her husband is accused of ripping off. She apparently used 54 credit cards.
Zamira Hajiyeva still denies any wrongdoing
Mrs. Hajiyeva has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and is appealing contrary to the NCA’s action against her. She’s also now fighting against extradition to Azerbaijan in a case that’ll be heard later this year.
In her statement to the court, also disclosed, she said that she’s been unable to protect herself or her husband because he is in jail and is therefore unable to provide a detailed account of how he became a legitimate and successful businessman.
The NCA case against Zamira Hajiyeva according to the London court documents