The wife of a jailed bank boss is facing a legal bid to seize her $4.3m jewelry collection.
Zamira Hajiyeva, 58, was made the subject of the first Unexplained Wealth Order in Britain in 2018, after an astonishing $21.5m spending spree at the Harrod’s department store, in London.
Now the National Crime Agency (NCA) is attempting to seize jewelry she bought there and elsewhere.
Her husband Jahangir Hajiyev is currently serving a 15-year prison term for plundering the government-controlled International Bank of Azerbaijan.
As a state employee his salary never exceeded $70,000, yet his wife managed to buy a $15.4m home and a $14m golf course and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle.
The NCA told earlier court hearings that Mrs Hajiyeva bought millions of dollars worth of Boucheron and Cartier jewelry.
Dozens of pieces were seized from Cartier Ltd and the Christie’s auction house after being consigned there for sale by her daughter.
They included a Cartier diamond ring valued at nearly Â£1.6m and a Boucheron sapphire and ruby necklace worth up to $160,000.
The NCA last week told Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London, that Mr Hajiyev may now have to give video evidence from an Azerbaijani jail to determine what happens to the jewelry.
“The NCA’s case is that this jewellery was acquired with funds which were embezzled, stolen, extracted in various ways by Mr Hajiyev at a time when he was chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan,” Andrew Bird, representing the NCA, told the court, according to the Evening Standard newspaper.