Police arrest woman who spent £16m in Harrods

An address listed as belonging to Zamira Hajiyeva the wife of the former chairman of Azerbaijan's largest bank

There, Hajiyeva's lavish lifestyle made her the first target of new legislation created to target suspected corrupt foreign officials who have potentially laundered stolen money through Britain.

The arrest is the latest legal woe for Zamira Hajiyeva who faces the loss of two United Kingdom properties worth £22 million (Dh106.1m) in the first use of a new British police tactic aimed at tackling high-level worldwide corruption.

Mrs Hajiyeva, who lives in a £15m house near the London store, became the first person to be served a UWO by the National Crime Agency last month.

Hajiyeva's husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, who was formerly chair of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, is now serving a 15-year prison sentence in Azerbaijan for his part in embezzling $138 million.

A judge at Westminster magistrates court ruled on Tuesday that Hajiyeva could be released on bail under certain conditions, including remaining at her Knightsbridge home, reporting to police daily and paying a £500,000 bond. She will will appeal the decision to refuse her bail at London's High Court today, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Over the course of a decade, the 55-year-old spent up big at the department store, with a court hearing she bought $180,000 worth of Cartier jewellery.

Her legal team argued that she was a "spendthrift" - not "a fraudster".

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Hajiyeva, who was not in court, must also report to a central London police station every day, has surrendered her passport and is banned from travelling outside London's M25 ring road.

The wife of a disgraced banker jailed in Azerbaijan for 15 years has been arrested in London and faces extradition.

Ms Hajiyeva is subject to an unexplained wealth order, which allows British officials to seize money from people suspected of generating income through corrupt means.

Last week the agency, which investigates cross-border and organised crime, seized 49 items of jewellery worth £400,000 from Christie's auction house, where Hajiyeva's daughter had taken them to be valued. The Azerbaijani woman must explain how she afforded the assets in question, otherwise she could lose them.

Mrs Hajiyeva is at the centre of an inquiry by the National Crime Agency into dirty overseas cash.

Hajiyeva has denied any wrongdoing.

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