February 5, 2020

UK Court of Appeal rejects appeal of Azeri’s unexplained wealth order

On February 5, 2020, the UK Court of Appeal upheld the first Unexplained Wealth Order issued pursuant to the Criminal Finances Act 2017.  In the appeal, Zamira Hajiyeva, the spouse of the convicted former chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, asserted that the UWO obtained by the UK National Crime Agency in February 2018 was based on a mischaracterization of her husband as a politically exposed person.  Lord Justice Burnett rejected Hajiyeva’s claim and denied her request to discharge the UWO, which requires her to reveal the source of funds for the purchase of a £15 million residence in Knightsbridge, London, or face forfeiture of the property.  A second UWO issued against Hajiyeva requires her to explain how she acquired a golf club in Berkshire.

NCA press release | Court of Appeal decision