Introduced in January last year under the 2017 Criminal Finances Act, UWOs (Unexplained Wealth Orders) make it compulsory for people to explain where they obtained the money to purchase assets with a minimum value of £50,000. However, court action can be both time consuming and costly when dealing with such cases. When included as part of the investigation, lie detector tests for unexplained wealth order cases could easily speed up the process.
In the first case of its type, defendant Zamira Hajiyeva failed in her bid to remain anonymous today in the High Court. The media contended that the public should be made aware of the facts.
She is required to reveal where her wealth originated from. Failure to provide the NCA (National Crime Agency) with an adequate explanation may result in her losing her residence in London valued at over £11 million.
Married to Jahangir Hajiyev, her husband formerly worked at the International Bank of Azerbaijan in the capacity of Chairman. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in 2016, following a conviction for his part in a crime which involved embezzling millions of dollars from the bank.
‘Coincidentally’ a property that was valued in exactly the same amount and in the same location as Zamira Hajiyeva’s London home, was purchased in 2009 via a British Virgin Islands company.
Shop till you drop!
Other points brought to the court’s attention were that she had spent £16 million over a period of 10 years in Harrods. The store is located close to her home. Among other assets she also purchased a Berkshire golf course in 2013 at a purchase price of £10 million and a private jet in the sum of $42 million. Putting an entirely new meaning on “shop till you drop” Ms Hajiyeva allegedly spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on luxury items including jewellery, wine and perfume. Click on BBC News to read the full story.
National Crime Agency
The introduction of UWOs came about as a result of the UK government feeling it necessary to do something about foreign money laundering. In the case of the Hajiyevas it doesn’t take too much of a leap in imagination to surmise that the money being spent is in some way related to the missing cash from the Bank of Azerbaijan. If proven, assets will be seized by the NCA.
According to the NCA it is difficult to successfully prosecute these types of cases because there usually isn’t sufficient evidence. However, they believe that multi billions of pounds has been laundered via property investments.
Lie Detector Tests for Unexplained Wealth Order cases
We believe that lie detector tests for unexplained wealth order cases could provide new leads and assist in these investigations.
Often the mere mention of a polygraph examination will elicit a confession. With carefully worded questions a polygraph examiner can also uncover unexpected, valuable information.
We invite the National Crime Agency to explore the use of polygraph examinations to enhance their investigations.