National Crime Agency
Laundered millions linked to Azeri politician forfeited
Millions of pounds derived from the Azerbaijan laundromat – a sophisticated international money laundering scheme – have been seized following a National Crime Agency investigation into money held in bank accounts linked to an Azeri politician.
Financial investigators secured a Forfeiture Order for £5.6million in UK bank accounts belonging to family members of Javanshir Feziyev, who is a serving member of the Azerbaijan parliament, Chair of the UK-Azerbaijan All Parliamentary Co-operation Committee, and Co-chair of the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Co-operation Committee.
Following an extensive investigation, six Account Freezing Orders were obtained for accounts held in the name of his wife, Parvana Feyziyeva, one of his children, Orkhan Javanshir, and his nephew, Elman Javanshir.
Investigators suspected that the funds in these accounts were derived from the Azerbaijan laundromat and as such were recoverable property.
Through the laundromat, money would be moved via a complex network of shell companies that operated bank accounts in Estonia and Latvia, a process known as layering. Some of these transfers were accompanied by documents, including invoices and contracts, purporting to support legitimate and very substantial business transactions.
Following a three-week contested forfeiture hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, District Judge John Zani was satisfied there was overwhelming evidence that these documents were entirely fictitious and were produced in order to mask the underlying money laundering activities of those orchestrating the accounts.
In his ruling, the Judge stated that having exhaustively considered the evidence filed, he was entirely satisfied that there was a significant money laundering scheme in existence in Azerbaijan, Estonia and Latvia at the relevant time.
The total amount ordered for forfeiture, out of the £15.3m initially frozen in the bank accounts, was £5,630,994.19.
Andy Lewis, Head of Civil Recovery at the NCA, yesterday said:
“This is a substantial forfeiture of money laundered through the Azerbaijan laundromat, and our success highlights the risk to anyone who uses these schemes. We were able to recover these millions without needing to prove the exact nature of the original criminal activity. We will continue to use civil powers to target money entering the UK via illegitimate means.”
Ben Russell, Deputy Director of the National Economic Crime Centre, yesterday said:
“This case demonstrates the NCA’s commitment to investigating and seizing the proceeds of international corruption and associated money laundering. The UK is hostile to illicit finance, and will use every available tool to tackle it."
Original article link: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/laundered-millions-linked-to-azeri-politician-forfeited
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
Operation Henhouse: Hundreds of arrests and millions in assets seized in month tackling fraud31/03/2023 10:05:00
The NCA’s National Economic Crime Centre has led a successful operation working closely with City of London Police and other policing partners against suspected fraudsters across the UK.
Operation Stovewood: Brothers charged with 29 sexual offences30/03/2023 11:25:00
Three brothers from Meersbrook in Sheffield have been charged with a series of sexual offences linked to the National Crime Agency’s Operation Stovewood.
Men sentenced for cash and drugs exchange at car park in Scotland28/03/2023 10:25:00
Two men seen exchanging £45,000 for two laundry bags filled with cannabis have been sentenced following an investigation by Scotland’s Organised Crime Partnership.
NCA infiltrates cyber crime market with disguised DDoS sites24/03/2023 16:05:00
The National Crime Agency has today revealed that it has infiltrated the online criminal marketplace by setting up a number of sites purporting to offer DDoS-for-hire services.
Bristol man charged over attempted drug importation22/03/2023 14:10:00
A Bristol man has been charged with drug offences following his arrest by National Crime Agency officers investigating the attempted importation of cocaine with a potential street value of around £1.75 million.
Gold shipment forfeited after NCA links it to drug cartels21/03/2023 15:10:00
The National Crime Agency has obtained a civil recovery order for gold worth an estimated £4 million that was being laundered by South American drug cartels.
Gun and ammunition importer jailed21/03/2023 11:15:00
A Czech man involved in the importation of a semi-automatic gun and live ammunition into the UK has been sentenced following a National Crime Agency investigation.
Sex offender threatened kids into keeping abuse a secret21/03/2023 10:33:00
A man from Manchester who sexually assaulted two children has been jailed for eight years and six months following a National Crime Agency investigation.