The mystery high-spending woman who has just failed in her appeal against the UK’s first unexplained wealth order (UWO) has been revealed to be Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of Jahangir Hajiyev, a former chairman of state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan.
Mrs Hajiyeva risks losing her £15 million London home and a Berkshire golf course if she fails to satisfactorily explain the source of her wealth to the High Court.
She spent £16 million at Harrods over a decade, the court heard in a hearing on her appeal. She fought a legal battle to stay anonymous but media later persuaded the court that her identity should be revealed so that the public could be informed.
Under the terms of the UWO, Mrs Hajiyeva must provide the National Crime Agency with a clear account of how she and her husband could afford to purchase their large home in Knightsbridge.
Her lawyers, who are seeking to appeal against the order, said that the UWO "does not and should not be taken to imply any wrongdoing", by her or her husband.
Jahangir Hajiyev was jailed for 15 years in 2016 after being convicted of being part of major fraud and embezzlement that drained tens of millions of dollars from the Azerbaijan bank. He was also ordered to repay about $40 million.
In a statement on Twitter, Donald Toon, director for economic crime at the NCA, said the agency "fully supports an open and transparent justice system that helps demonstrate our determination to ensure that the UK is not seen as a soft target for the investment of illicit finance".