Cambodia Seizes Record 3-Tonne Haul Of African Ivory


Massive haul showed long rows of confiscated tusks spread out on the ground at the port. (file)

Phnom Penh: 

Cambodia seized more than 3.2 tonnes of elephant tusks hidden in a storage container sent from Mozambique, a customs official said today, marking the country’s largest ivory bust.

The discovery Thursday of 1,026 tusks at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port followed a tip from the US embassy, the official said, and highlights Cambodia’s emergence as a key regional transit point for the multibillion dollar trade in illicit wildlife.

“The elephant tusks were hidden among marble in a container that was abandoned,” Sun Chhay, director of the Customs and Excise Office at the port, told news agency AFP.

He said the ivory was sent from the southern African nation of Mozambique and arrived at the port last year.

The unidentified owner of the shipment did not arrive to pick up the cargo.

Pictures of the massive haul showed long rows of confiscated tusks spread out on the ground at the port.

Sun Chhay said he did not know whether the shipment was destined for markets in other countries.

Demand from China and Vietnam has fuelled the growth of illegal wildlife trafficking via Cambodia.

Weak law enforcement and corruption attract wildlife smugglers, especially at a time when neighbouring Thailand is cracking down on the banned trade.

Ivory is prized for its beauty while the market in traditional medicine has led to the smuggling of rhino horn and pangolin scales.

Cambodia has a miniscule elephant population but its emergence as a new trafficking hub has resulted in several headline-grabbing busts over the past five years.  

The largest before this week occured in 2014, when Cambodian customs seized about three tonnes of ivory hidden in a container of beans at the southwestern port of Sihanoukville.

Last year, Cambodia also seized nearly a tonne of ivory hidden in hollowed-out logs discovered inside an abandoned container, owned by a company based in Mozambique.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)





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US-Led Coalition Destroys Syrian Mosque Used As ISIS Command Centre


Washington: 

The US-led coalition in Syria destroyed on Saturday a mosque in the town of Hajin which had been used as an ISIS command and control center, the US military said.

Hajin is the last big town that the ISIS holds in its remaining enclave east of the Euphrates River. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, spearheaded by the Kurdish militia, have battled to eliminate the terrorists there for several months.

The US coalition said that 16 heavily armed ISIS fighters were using the mosque as a base to attack. “This strike killed these terrorists who presented an imminent threat, and eliminated another deadly ISIS operational capability from the battlefield,” the US military said in a statement.

Lilwa al-Abdallah, spokeswoman for the offensive in eastern Deir al-Zor province, said on Friday that the coalition would soon re-take Hajin.

ISIS lost nearly all the territory it once held in Syria last year in separate offensives by the US-backed SDF on the one hand, and the Russian-backed Syrian army on the other.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति ट्रंप के राजनीतिक और निजी जीवन का लगभग हर पहलू जांच के दायरे में


वाशिंगटनः अमेरिका के राष्ट्रपति डोनाल्ड ट्रंप का राजनीतिक और निजी जीवन का हर पहलू जांच के दायरे में है. ट्रंप व्हाइट हाउस, प्रचार अभियान और सत्ता हस्तांतरण से लेकर चैरिटी और कारोबार तक की जांच में उलझे हुए हैं. ट्रंप के कार्यकाल के दो साल से भी कम समय में उनके कारोबारी सहयोगियों, राजनीतिक सलाहकारों और परिवार के सदस्यों सभी की जांच की जा रही है. साथ ही उनके दिवंगत पिता के उद्योग की भी जांच-पड़ताल की जा रही है. ट्रंप प्रशासन में गृह मामलों के मंत्री रयान जिंके शुक्रवार को चौथे कैबिनेट मंत्री रहे जिन्होंने पद छोड़ने की घोषणा की. पद पर रहते हुए उनके कार्यों को लेकर 17 मामलों की जांच चल रही है.

ट्रंप के खिलाफ मामलों की जांच अगले साल रफ्तार पकड़ सकती है जब डेमोक्रेट्स का सदन पर नियंत्रण बढ़ने की संभावना है. हालांकि, ट्रंप ने इन जांचों को राजनीति से प्रेरित बताते हुए खारिज किया है और उनके टि्वटर अकाउंट पर आए दिन इसको लेकर उनका गुस्सा दिखाई देता है. 

अपने कार्यकाल के लगभग आधे दौर में अब ट्रंप अपने अहम चुनावी वादों को पूरा करने के लिए संघर्ष कर रहे हैं. वह मेक्सिको के साथ लगती सीमा पर दीवार बनाने के लिए पांच अरब डॉलर चाहते हैं लेकिन रिपब्लिकन के नेतृत्व वाली कांग्रेस द्वारा यह धनराशि दिए बगैर ही उनका साल खत्म हो सकता है. 

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 रयान जिंके, फोटोः रॉयटर्स

अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति के खिलाफ चल रहे मामलों में रॉबर्ट मूलर जांच, अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति चुनाव में रूसी हस्तक्षेप, ट्रंप की कथित प्रेमिकाओं को धनराशि देने से जुड़े न्यूयॉर्क अभियान-वित्त मामला और ट्रंप की उद्घाटन समिति के वित्त और कार्यों की जांच चल रही है.

ये जांच राष्ट्रपति, ट्रंप के परिवार और उनके कारोबारी हितों के लिए खतरा हैं. डेमोक्रेट्स के सदन पर नियंत्रण के बाद यह खतरा और बढ़ेगा ही. वे खुद से जांच शुरू कर सकते हैं और महाभियोग लाने पर भी विचार कर सकते हैं.

अगर ट्रंप महाभियोग से बच भी जाते हैं तो डेमोक्रेट्स की जांच उनके लिए सिरदर्द बनेगी. प्रशासन के अधिकारियों को संसद के समक्ष गवाही के लिए बुलाया जाएगा और सांसद दस्तावेज मांगेंगे जिनमें ट्रंप के टैक्स रिटर्न से जुड़े दस्तावेज भी शामिल हो सकते हैं जिन्हें सार्वजनिक करने से उन्होंने इनकार कर दिया था. 

(इनपुट भाषा से)





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Former military chief General David Hurley will be Australia’s new governor general


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Two prime suspects were acquitted from charges of killing Indian national Sarabjit Singh inside the Kot Lakhpat jail in 2013 by a district and sessions court


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Qatar Reveals Design Of 2022 World Cup Lusail Stadium, Can Seat 80,000


This handout picture shows a computer generated image of the Lusail stadium for the world cup 2022

Lusail, Qatar: 

Qatar on Saturday revealed the design for the stadium that will in four years’ time host the first ever World Cup finals game to be played in the Middle East.

The 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium — also the venue for the 2022 World Cup final — was revealed in an elaborate ceremony attended by the country’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and other dignitaries, including the United Nations’ secretary-general, Antonio Guterres.

Hassan al-Thawadi, the head of the country’s World Cup organising body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, called the unveiling a “significant milestone”.

“Every milestone for us is always important,” he said.

“The announcement of the design of the stadium is very, very important… it’s the last stadium as well.”

The Lusail Stadium is the eighth and final venue to be revealed for the Qatar World Cup.

Designed by British architects Foster and Partners, the stadium is said to take its inspiration from Arab craftmanship, said the committee.

qeavcfsg

Qatar on Saturday revealed the design for the stadium that will in four years’ time host the first ever World Cup finals game to be played in the Middle East.

It also stands close to the site of the former home of Qatar’s founder, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani al-Thani.

The stadium sits in the completely new city of Lusail, a $45 billion (40 billion euro) project located 15 kilometres (nine miles) north of the capital Doha.

It is one of the largest infrastructure schemes undertaken by Qatar, which is undergoing enormous transformation for the World Cup.

Construction work, in the shape of a Qatari/Chinese joint project, is set to finish in 2020.

qucld8f

The 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium — also the venue for the 2022 World Cup final — was revealed in an elaborate ceremony.

The unveiling of Lusail comes as world football’s governing body FIFA is still considering whether to expand the tournament from 32 teams to 48.

If that expansion occurs — there is currently a feasibility study underway — it is likely that tournament games will be shared among other countries in the region.

“Ultimately the decision (on expansion) will be made with FIFA and Qatar,” said Thawadi.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Rajapaksa hails Sirisena’s ‘bold’ move, says prez can’t ‘do nothing’ when govt destroying country


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Nigeria Lifts UNICEF Suspension Hours After Accusing Staff Of Spying


With millions displaced, Nigeria’s northeast is largely dependent on international aid. (File)

Nigeria: 

The Nigerian military on Friday lifted a suspension of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund activities in the northeast of the country, hours after it was imposed amid accusations that UNICEF staff spied for Islamist militants in the restive region.

Nigeria’s northeast has been torn apart by a decade-long insurgency by Boko Haram and its splinter group Islamic State West Africa, in which more than 30,000 people have been killed and many more driven from their homes. With millions displaced, the northeast is largely dependent on international aid.

Earlier on Friday, the Nigerian military said UNICEF had been training people to sabotage troops’ counter-insurgency efforts by uncovering alleged human rights abuses by the military.

In its statement, the Nigerian military said UNICEF staff “train and deploy spies who support the insurgents and their sympathisers”.

These were “unwholesome practices that could further jeopardise the fight against terrorism and insurgency”, it said, adding that UNICEF’s operations were being suspended in the northeast until further notice.

But in a second statement hours later, the military said it held an emergency meeting with UNICEF representatives late on Friday.

“After extensive deliberations on the need to seek modalities to work harmoniously with the security agencies in the theatre of operation, the Theatre Command has henceforth lifted the three months suspension earlier imposed on UNICEF,” the military said in its second statement.

In its second statement, the military said during the meeting it urged “UNICEF representatives to ensure they share information with relevant authorities whenever induction or training of new staff is being conducted in the theatre”.

Earlier, after the allegation and suspension, a UNICEF spokeswoman said the organisation was “verifying the information”.

In April, Nigeria’s military declared three UNICEF employees “persona non grata”, in connection with alleged leaks of information about soldiers sexually abusing children in the northeast, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The declaration was rescinded days later after pressure from diplomats, the sources said.

Nigeria’s military is highly sensitive to allegations of human rights abuses.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Donald Trump Directed Hush Money Payments, Knew It Was Wrong, Alleges Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen


Michael Cohen has admitted facilitating payments to 2 women in violation of campaign finance laws (File)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, said in a television interview Friday that Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments to women who alleged they had affairs with him, directly contradicting claims from the president.

Cohen, who has admitted facilitating payments to two women in violation of campaign finance laws, told ABC News that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Asked whether the president also knew it was wrong to make the payments, Cohen replied, “Of course.” He added that the purpose was to “help (Trump) and his campaign.”

“He was very concerned about how this would affect the election,” Cohen said.

His comments, in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” are at odds with those of Trump on Thursday in tweets and in a television interview.

Trump denied that he directed Cohen to break the law during the 2016 campaign by buying the silence of former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal and adult-film star Stormy Daniels. He also said that Cohen, as his lawyer, bore responsibility for any campaign finance violations.

“I never directed him to do anything wrong,” Trump told Fox News on Thursday. “Whatever he did, he did on his own… I never directed him to do anything incorrect or wrong.”

In his interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Cohen, who once vowed that he would “take a bullet” for Trump, flatly disputed the president’s assertion. He said Trump was well aware of important decisions involving his business.

“I don’t think there is anybody that believes that,” Cohen said. “First of all, nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr Trump. He directed me to make the payments. He directed me to become involved in these matters.”

The former lawyer and Trump fixer added: “He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth. And here is the truth: People of the United States of America, people of the world, don’t believe what he is saying. The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.”

Cohen’s comments were his first since being sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for what US District Judge William Pauley III called a “veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct” – crimes that include tax violations, lying to a bank and lying to Congress, as well as those related to the hush-money payments.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Friday that by reporting Cohen’s claims, the media “is giving credence to a convicted criminal.”

“He’s a self-admitted liar,” Gidley told reporters. “You guys all know that, and for him to say . . . ‘I’m going to stop lying, starting now,’ is somewhat silly.”

Federal prosecutors contend Trump directed the payments in a bid to help his election prospects. Trump has denied the affairs, and initially denied knowing anything about the payments, but has since shifted his story.

Cohen is scheduled to report to prison March 6.

In the ABC interview, Cohen said a $150,000 payment to McDougal was negotiated directly between Trump and David Pecker, the chief executive of the National Enquirer’s parent company. Cohen said his role was limited to reviewing papers.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced a cooperation deal with the company, American Media Inc. (AMI), in which it acknowledged paying McDougal to “suppress the woman’s story” and “prevent it from influencing the election.”

Rudy Giuliani, a Trump lawyer, has acknowledged that Trump reimbursed Cohen for a $130,000 payment to Daniels. He said Trump wanted to quash false rumors that could hurt his family.

In the interview, Cohen declined to answer specific questions about the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller III into possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign. “I don’t want to jeopardize any of their investigations,” he said.

Asked whether he thinks Trump is telling the truth about the Russia investigation, Cohen replied, “No.”

Trump has denied any “collusion” with Russia and has repeatedly attacked Mueller and his lawyers, accusing them of conducting a “witch hunt.”

Cohen acknowledged that he “didn’t display good judgment” in lying on Trump’s behalf and that his family was disappointed in him.

“I am done with the lying,” Cohen said. “I am done with being loyal to President Trump.”

Asked why people should believe him now, Cohen cited a statement by Mueller’s office that he has been helpful to its investigations.

“There’s a substantial amount of information that they possess that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth,” he said.

Cohen said he remains available to answer additional questions from Mueller’s team.

“If they want me, I’m here,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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To Fight Dirty Money, UK Asks Simple Question To Those Living High Life


Zamira Hajiyeva lived in this $14.5 million townhouse in London’s upscale Knightsbridge

London: 

Until quite recently, Zamira Hajiyeva was living the high life, according to British authorities. She had a $14.5 million townhouse in London’s tony Knightsbridge neighborhood, a golf club in the English countryside and a gold-plated shopping habit at Harrods.

That was before a British court this year asked the 55-year-old from Azerbaijan an impertinent question: How did she afford those purchases?

That query is at the heart of a bold British push to try to reverse what the government believes is a flood of foreign investment stemming from overseas corruption and criminality.

For more than a decade, ultrarich people from the former Soviet Union, China and the Middle East have turned to London mansions, New York high-rises, and chic properties in Vancouver, Miami and Paris to store their cash. The phenomenon has turned the real estate markets of North American and European cities into the savings accounts of wealthy foreigners – some of whom face allegations of corruption or crime back home.

Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have failed to stem the tide, which has helped drive property prices beyond the reach of some local residents and, critics argue, facilitated illicit conduct overseas.

Now a new investigative tool being launched by British authorities could serve as a powerful deterrent. But it is fraught, forcing wealthy individuals to demonstrate that they bought property with lawfully earned funds – a departure from legal precedent that required the state to prove the use of illicit money.

“It is quite a dramatic move to put a burden on somebody to explain the legitimacy of their income, versus the reverse burden, which would normally be on the state to show income or property had been unlawfully obtained. We have issues about that,” said Jonathan Fisher, a lawyer specializing in white-collar-crime cases.

The case involving Hajiyeva – whose husband is serving a prison sentence in Azerbaijan for embezzlement – is the first of what the government says will be several efforts to deploy the new “unexplained wealth orders” in the coming months.

Under new legislation, law enforcement agencies can seek the orders from a court when they have “reasonable grounds to suspect” that a person lacks enough legal income to explain a large purchase – and has ties to a foreign public official or possible links to crime. If recipients of the orders can’t show that they used legitimate income, the court may allow the government to seize the property.

Donald Toon, head of economic and cybercrime at the National Crime Agency, which requested the court orders against Hajiyeva, said the government is enforcing the law that Parliament passed. Britain needed an easier way to target suspected dirty money arriving from overseas, he said, because it’s often hard to acquire firm evidence of criminality in foreign countries with unreliable legal systems.

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Doormen stand outside Harrods department store in London, where Zamira Hajiyeva spent about $20 million between 2006 and 2016, British authorities say

“It cannot be right that, in our view, people are able to acquire and retain property and hold assets in the U.K. where we have a reason for belief that that represents the proceeds of criminal behavior,” Toon said in an interview at the agency’s South London headquarters. The National Crime Agency plans to ask the High Court for “a handful” of additional orders in the next few months, he said. “The aim is to make it easier to remove dirty money from the system.”

That’s a goal other Western countries are pursuing, with mixed results. The United States, for one, is strong at investigating and prosecuting money laundering, but it has “serious gaps” in regulation of the lawyers, accountants and real estate agents who help clients launder money, knowingly or unknowingly, according to David Lewis, executive secretary of the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental body that combats illicit finance.

The United Nations has estimated that criminal funds equal to about 2.7 percent of global gross domestic product may be laundered through the financial system annually.

Unexplained wealth orders are a relatively new tool for attacking the problem, though they have been used in a handful of countries, including Australia. In Britain, judges will issue them only if authorities can show that the recipient has suspected ties to crime or to a public official in a non-European country – a position that could enable them to benefit from corruption without sufficient legal scrutiny, lawyers say.

Hajiyeva is married to Jahangir Hajiyev, who in 2016 was convicted of embezzling money from a state-controlled bank in Azerbaijan. London’s High Court issued an unexplained wealth order to Hajiyeva in February, asking her to explain the purchase of the London townhouse. A second order involved the golf club.

Hajiyeva argued in court that it was her husband’s responsibility to purchase the property, and that she had no knowledge about the payments or the source of the money, court records show. The High Court rejected her attempt to have the first order quashed, saying it was issued on solid grounds.

Hajiyeva has not been charged with a crime in Britain – the unexplained wealth order is a civil investigative tool.

Her home country of Azerbaijan, however, charged her with embezzlement in 2016, saying she worked with her husband to defraud the bank. According to her lawyers, Hajiyeva believes “that the proceedings against her husband were abusive and politically motivated” and that Azerbaijan’s charges against her “are similarly tainted.”

In late October, acting on an extradition request from Azerbaijan, Britain arrested Hajiyeva and jailed her for nine days before releasing her on bail while the courts consider the extradition request.

In mid-November, reporting to a London police station in a chauffeured SUV for her daily check-in – a condition of her bail, along with wearing an electronic tracking device and abiding by a curfew – Hajiyeva declined to comment to The Washington Post on her legal troubles.

London’s rich culture and nightlife and posh boarding schools have made it a magnet for overseas capital, bringing a flood of wealthy foreigners seeking a comfortable life away from their sometimes turbulent home countries.

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Britain’s National Crime Agency says that in 2013, an offshore trust linked to Zamira Hajiyeva spent $13 million on the Mill Ride Golf & Country Club in Ascot.

Foreign money particularly streamed to London after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, when privatization of state-owned industries, often through corrupt auctions, created a new generation of millionaires and billionaires. Buyers from former Soviet republics helped drive London housing prices to record highs, causing consternation among Britons who were priced out of the market.

Far from all foreign investment stems from corruption or crime, but in 2015 the National Crime Agency said overseas criminals were laundering billions of pounds through property purchases. Then-Prime Minister David Cameron said British properties were “being bought by people overseas through anonymous shell companies, some with plundered or laundered cash.”

Concerns grew so acute that a pair of anti-corruption campaigners started a “kleptocracy tour” of London, escorting journalists and politicians around wealthy neighborhoods dotted with foreign-owned mansions. The partners are former finance industry executives based in London – Arthur Doohan and Roman Borisovich – who say they fund the effort largely with their own money.

Strolling down a Knightsbridge street in the autumn sunshine last month, Doohan pointed toward a large brick home. “This is Mr. Firtash’s iceberg,” he said, referring to the Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who is living in Austria fighting a U.S. extradition request on bribery charges that he denies. Iceberg, Mr. Doohan explained, means “a house that goes down as far as it goes up” – in this case with an underground swimming pool, he said.

A few blocks away Doohan arrived at Hajiyeva’s townhouse, where all the curtains were drawn. Now that the property is subject to an unexplained wealth order, it “will become a highlight” of the tour, he said. Money laundering “just damages people,” he said. “It damages people in Russia and Nigeria, the places where the money was stolen from. They don’t get roads, schools, hospitals . . . and it damages people in the U.K.,” he added. “The price of property has been driven against the interests of the law-abiding, taxpaying citizens.”

In 2009, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands paid $15 million for the townhouse, which is a short walk from the high-end Harrods department store, according to court papers in the Hajiyeva case. In 2015, when Hajiyeva applied for permanent British residency, she told British authorities that she was the beneficial owner of the company, court records show.

The National Crime Agency “contends that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that Mrs. Hajiyeva’s lawfully obtained income would have been insufficient to obtain the property,” court records show. At the time of the purchase, her husband was chairman of the state-controlled International Bank of Azerbaijan and appeared to be her only source of income, the agency said. His net income ranged between $29,062 and $70,648 a year, according to bank documents submitted to the court.

Hajiyeva’s lawyers say she began visiting London in 2005 and moved there permanently in 2010, after a tumultuous life in her home country. In 2005 she was kidnapped in Azerbaijan by an armed group believed to have connections to the country’s Interior Ministry, according to her lawyers.

“She was treated very badly during her kidnapping, and became very unwell, and she and her husband resolved that they would thereafter endeavor to bring up their family at least in part abroad,” her lawyers said in a court document.

Hajiyeva lived at the house near Harrods and started spending large sums at the department store, which issued her three customer loyalty cards, according to the National Crime Agency. Between 2006 and 2016, a total of 16.3 million pounds ($20.5 million) was spent using those cards, the agency said.

Many of those purchases were charged to 35 credit cards issued by the Azerbaijani state-controlled bank that Hajiyeva’s husband was helping run, according to court records.

Jahangir Hajiyev, meanwhile, was traveling in elite banking circles, attending the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and helping found a WEF club for up-and-coming companies. The club, he said in a 2007 statement, would “raise the bar for corporate governance and social responsibility for emerging and developed markets alike.”

The National Crime Agency said that in 2013, an offshore trust linked to Hajiyeva spent roughly $13 million on the Mill Ride Golf & Country Club, which is set on 170 acres of rolling countryside in the affluent county of Berkshire. Hajiyeva’s three children attended schools in Britain, including a boarding school in north London, according to her lawyers. One son is studying at a U.S. university.

Much of Hajiyeva’s spending came to a halt after her husband’s December 2015 arrest in Azerbaijan on embezzlement charges related to the bank, her lawyers said.

“The family’s finances and assets in Azerbaijan were effectively frozen. Her bank accounts in the U.K. were closed in 2016, as, of course, were all the credit and loyalty cards,” her lawyers wrote in a court document. “After this date she started to sell personal items and to rely upon the support of friends and family to meet her expenditure, including general household expenditure and school and university fees.”

After a trial in Azerbaijan, Hajiyev was convicted in October 2016 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay his former bank $39 million, British court documents show.

Azerbaijani authorities also came after Hajiyeva, charging her with embezzlement and requesting her extradition from Britain in early 2017. For more than a year and a half, Britain took no apparent steps to extradite her, Hajiyeva’s lawyers say.

In 2017, amid rising anger over housing prices and worsening relations with Russia, Parliament passed legislation introducing the unexplained wealth orders.

The initial court proceedings against Hajiyeva kept her identity anonymous, but after her appeal against the first order failed in October, the court released her name, sparking bold headlines in the British press about her Harrods shopping sprees. One tabloid photographed her walking her tiny dog while wearing what appeared to be Gucci sneakers and carrying an Hermes handbag.

Soon after, Toon said, the National Crime Agency received a tip that Hajiyeva’s daughter was having jewels valued at Christie’s, the auction house. Investigators swooped into Christie’s and seized 49 items worth half a million dollars, including a Boucheron sapphire-and-ruby necklace and a diamond Cartier pendant in the shape of a panther.

The National Crime Agency said that Hajiyev, the jailed banker, had originally purchased some of the jewels and that the “source of the funds” used required further investigation.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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