05 Nov 2018
A judge at Westminster Magistrates Court has ruled in favour of the authorities holding onto jewels which are part of an investigation into the legitimacy of a wealthy family’s assets.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said it has seized 49 items of high value jewellery from an auction house under the ‘listed assets’ provisions introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
The assets are part of the NCA’s first unexplained wealth order (UWO), the agency said.
The announcement comes after the NCA launched an unexplained wealth order case against the wife of a jailed Azeri banker who spent more than £16 million at Harrods store over a number of years.
The UWO also entails the seizure of properties worth over £22 million.
The woman’s husband, who was the chairman of a bank in Azerbaijan, was imprisoned over fraud and embezzlement allegations.
“In total, the items are valued at more than £400,000 for auction purposes and include a Boucheron sapphire and ruby necklace valued at £80,000 – £120,000 and a Van Cleef & Arpels pearl necklace valued at £20,000 – originally purchased … in San Moritz in 2008 for Eur 320,000,” the NCA explained, adding that source of the funds to purchase the jewellery requires further investigation.
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