Azerbaijan news

UK freezes Azerbaijani MP’s real estate for 39 million pounds

On Thursday, the London High Court arrested 22 properties belonging to Azerbaijani MP Javanshir Feyziyev and his wife.

According to documents published by CICOC (Center for Investigation of Corruption and Organized Crime), real estate worth more than 39.5 million pounds ($50 million) was frozen back in June 2023. All this time, Feyziyev did not respond to inquiries about legality of the funds used to buy a real estate in London.

His family’s lawyer tried to convince judge Nigel Poole to annul the decision to seize the property, arguing that the property was acquired legally.

Worthy of note is the fact that earlier Feyziyev’s family had already been sanctioned by the National Crime Agency of Great Britain (NCA). The British authorities considered that millions of pounds in the bank accounts of Feyziyev and his family members “came from an international money laundering scheme uncovered by CICOC in 2017 and known as the “Azerbaijani laundry”.

In 2022, the UK confiscated 5.6 million pounds ($ 7.56 million) of these funds from the accounts of Feyziyev’s wife, eldest son Orhan and nephew Elman Javanshir.

The decision to freeze Feyziyev and his wife’s real estate does not allow them to sell or transfer them to someone because of “strong evidence” that they were acquired through money laundering.

The most expensive property among the frozen ones is two residences for more than 26 million pounds ($ 33.4 million) in the exclusive Chelsea Barracks complex. They were bought by Feyziyev in 2020, when the British authorities were already investigating money laundering fact.

Other frozen ones include an apartment overlooking Regent’s Park, as well as 19 apartments in a residential complex in north—west London. Add that Feyziev bought this property for more than 10 million pounds ($13.7 million) in 2008-2018.

According to the NCA, the total value of the frozen property is estimated at more than 50 million pounds (63 million US dollars).

Feyziyev headed the Azerbaijani-British working group on interparliamentary relations and was co-chairman of the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee until 2022. He left these positions a few months after the British court confiscated more than 5.6 million pounds belonging to his relatives.
According to the lawyer’s press statement, the family was disappointed with the confiscation of property, but “satisfied” that 5.6 million pounds had been taken away from them, and not 15.4 million pounds, as required by the NCA.

The 2017 CICOC investigation, called the “Azerbaijani landromat”, revealed a complex scheme for laundering about $2.9 billion that was withdrawn from the country through four shell companies registered in the UK.

agency sent a request to Javanshir Feyziyev’s assistant with a request for comment on yesterday’s decision of the London court. The agency is ready to publish the opinion of the deputy or his legal representative.

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