Millionaire DJ her husband must forfeit £4m of laundered cash

Millionaire DJ who threw celebrity-packed London and Ibiza club nights and her husband must forfeit £4m of laundered cash linked to Azerbaijan’s political elite

  • Married couple who are based in London gave up £4m but deny any wrongdoing
  • Suleyman Javadov and wife Izzat were linked to a money laundering scheme
  • National Crime Agency froze £6.5m of couple’s assets ahead of court hearing
  • Hearing was scrapped after couple agreed to surrender £4m from four accounts

A millionaire DJ and her husband who is linked to the ruling elite in Azerbaijan have been ordered to forfeit £4million after legal action by the National Crime Agency.

Izzat Khanim Javadova and her husband Suleyman Javadov, who live in London, surrendered the money that was paid into their bank accounts via the so-called Azerbaijan Laundromat money-laundering scheme, the NCA said. 

Miss Javadova, who has run club events at London bars popular with celebrities, was said with Javadov to have used the scheme to move money from offshore accounts into banks in the UK including Barclays, Lloyds, Santander, Metro Bank and Coutts. 

The National Crime Agency was granted freezing orders on 10 accounts belonging to the couple in 2018 and 2019, the contents of which contained £6.4million.

Millionaire DJ Izzat Khanim Javadova and husband Suleyman Javadov have been ordered to forfeit £4million after legal action by the National Crime Agency in a money laundering probe

In a settlement, the couple agreed to forfeit just over £4million from four of the accounts, meaning that the freezing orders on the remainder fall away. 

The Javadovs, who had argued their money came from a legitimate property empire, fought for nearly two years to fight the case in secrecy, with lawyers arguing that revealing their names would damage their reputations.

But last month, Judge Vanessa Baraitser ordered that the forfeiture hearing should be heard in public at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London.

The forfeiture hearing to recover the money was due to start at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, but will now not go ahead following the settlement. 

Miss Javadova, who performs as DJ Mikaela Jav, is the cousin of president Ilham Aliyev.

Her late father was the oligarch Jalal Aliyev, a renowned scientist and the president’s uncle.

Pictured: Izzat Khanim Javadova, AKA DJ Mikaela Jav, is the daughter of the oligarch Jalal Aliyev, a renowned scientist and the Azerbaijan president’s uncle

She came to London at least ten years ago after the Home Office granted her a visa and ran a promotions firm called Love The Underground Records.

It held parties at plush venues in the capital including Kensington Roof Gardens.

Her husband is the son of a former deputy energy minister in Azerbaijan, which borders Russia and Iran.

Prosecutors had claimed that he should therefore face tougher money laundering scrutiny as a ‘politically exposed person’.

The pair are thought to own London homes worth millions, including a Whitehall flat, a riverside home in Twickenham and an apartment in Clerkenwell – as well as a beachside villa in Ibiza.

Andy Lewis, NCA head of asset denial, said: ‘This result is a significant success for the UK, £4m for the public purse, following the first case seeking forfeiture of funds relating to the so-called Azerbaijan Laundromat.

Pictured: Suleyman Javadov (left) sitting next to Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan

‘It follows a challenging and complex NCA investigation lasting more than two years, which resulted in Javadov agreeing to settle rather than face a court battle.

‘Anyone who used the Azerbaijan Laundromat should not rest easy, as your assets in the UK are potentially recoverable.

‘Our investigation shows the inherent danger of moving money in this way.

‘If money transfers though a ‘laundromat’ system, we can go after it.

‘We will use all means at our disposal to prevent the UK being attractive for this sort of activity.’

Matthew Long, director of the national economic crime centre at the NCA, said ‘This case is a significant moment in the UK’s fight against illicit finance.

‘What we’ve shown here is that the method you use to transfer money matters.

‘The use of civil powers to target money entering the UK via illegitimate means is gaining real momentum.

‘International elites should pay close attention and make sure any method used to transfer their assets is legitimate from end to end.’

The NCA investigation involved cooperation from law enforcement partners in a number of countries including Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia and Spain. 

The agreement to hand over the money does not amount to an admission or finding of liability or wrongdoing against Mr Javadov or his wife.

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