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Next level retail therapy: Wife of jailed banker spent £16 MILLION on decade-long Harrods spree

Next level retail therapy: Wife of jailed banker spent £16 MILLION on decade-long Harrods spree
A woman who casually dropped £30,000 on luxury Godiva chocolates at Harrods as part of an epic 10-year-long, £16 million spending spree is being forced to explain where she got the money from.

Champion shopper Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, is married to a banker who happens to be serving 15 years in prison in Azerbaijan for fraud and embezzlement, which might go some way toward explaining the source of her allegedly ill-gotten wealth.

Court papers have revealed that Hajiyeva spent more than $1.6 million at the high-end Knightsbridge store between 2006 and 2016, on no fewer than 35 credits cards issued to her by the bank previously headed by her husband, UK media reported. 

Her purchases started off more modestly — £140 on perfume, £842 on children’s books — but gradually became more extravagant, with her shelling out thousands of pounds on Miu Miu, Tom Dixon and Fendi designer clothes — and more than £30,000 at the Godiva Chocolatier.

The mother-of-three also spent £1 million in the Harrods toy department, £5.75 million at Boucheron and Cartier jewelers and more than £400,000 on clothes from US designer Dennis Basso. On one single day in 2015, she spent more than £286,000 at Christian Dior. Talk about retail therapy.

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All of the shopping must have helped Hajiyeva work up a healthy appetite, too, because over the years, she managed to fork out more than £332,000 at Tom Dixon’s sandwich cafe. Come on, shopping can be tiring work and a girl’s gotta eat. The cafe in question has since closed; perhaps because Hajiyeva was keeping them in business?

The suspicious spending was discovered when the National Crime Agency (NCA) began investigating the source of her wealth after her husband, former International Bank of Azerbaijan Chairman Jahangir Hajiyev, was convicted for corruption and stealing millions from a state-controlled bank.


The NCA is endeavoring to understand exactly how the pair could afford to purchase an £11.5 million house just minutes away from Harrods (handy!) and a £10.5 million golf club in Berkshire.

Hajiyeva was arrested last year and is the subject of the UK's first unexplained wealth orders (UWO). She is also facing extradition to Azerbaijan where she is wanted over allegations of fraud. A hiccup like that could put her trips to Harrods on the back burner indefinitely. Hajiyeva has denied any wrongdoing and claims her husband was convicted after a “show trial.”

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Harrods said in a statement that strict adherence to anti-money laundering policies is “a fundamental principle” of the company’s operations. “There has never been any suggestion that Harrods has operated in any way other than in full compliance with the highest regulatory and legal standards,” it said.

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