Saturday 24 August 2019

Sinead Ryan: 'Going on the rampage with 54 credit cards'

Where most of us may have one, Zamira had no fewer than 54 credit cards. Stock Image
Where most of us may have one, Zamira had no fewer than 54 credit cards. Stock Image
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

Ever feel like it's months until pay day? Of course it's tempting to put things on credit, especially if there's plastic burning a hole in your wallet, but most of us know it's only delaying the inevitable.

So it turned out for Zamira Hajiyeva.

The about-to-be-collared 55-year-old wife of a jailed Azerbaijani banker decided to be hung for a sheep as a lamb when she went on the rampage with her flexible friend in Harrods. The eye-watering spending came to light when she was slapped with Britain's first Unexplained Wealth Order (a bit like our Criminal Assets Bureau).

The records reveal how the other half (half? Half of 1pc) live. Where most of us may have one, Zamira had no fewer than 54 credit cards.

Undoubtedly she required a designer wallet just to hold them all. In her defence she lived less than five minutes from the flagship London store, but that's a long walk in the old Jimmy Choos, so she rented two car spaces permanently from them in their private members bay (who knew?), and of course, had a loyalty card; she was the very definition of it.

Her early purchases were, eh, sensible, bordering on sweet. £842 (€950) on children's books and a bottle of perfume for £140. A couple of designer dresses and some shoes followed (so far, so lady-who-lunches).

Then along came Tom Dixon. He makes lamps and tablewear, so she dumped £17,000 there. As you do. I looked him up. If you hurry, he'll give you a free tea-light holder if you spend £175 in his shop, so presumably Zamira clocked up 97 of them, which is enough to throw light on the £4.9m she then spent on jewellery in Boucheron.

All that shopping would give a girl an appetite, so thankfully the sandwich bar is on the fourth floor. A case of the munchies got to our Zamira, who clocked up a £332,000 bill. Her perfume used up, she trailed back down to the scent counter and splashed out £160,000 there. More than the one bottle, we hope. Finally, she left £925 at the socks counter; a present to jailed hubby perhaps.

Oh no, not finally, because an hour later, Cartier received £433,389.79 for 'jewellery' and £374 for a 'men's designer item'. He'll be the best attired prisoner going. There's more - lots - but honestly, we don't have the room. The oddest purchase was £99,000 in, eh, the Disney Store.

Mickey Mouse money it ain't.

Governments try to keep up with the big spenders

It's not just the 1pc who have a profligate attitude to spending. Governments lead by example.

Almost £100m (€112m) was spent on private consultancy firms to advise the UK cabinet on Brexit, according to secret documents.

That's going well, obviously.

Marked as 'officially sensitive' by Whitehall, the report's leaking was therefore inevitable. There's a touching suggestion that the spend could top £240m by 2020, by which time MPs will no doubt be still voting on Special Resolutions to leave the EU. About £20.9m was spent on "readiness for exit scenarios".

All ads in world won't stop thumbs-up emojis

I'm in too many WhatsApp groups. Mammies for this, ladies for that, parents for the other. I mute most because they drive me potty but I get FOMO if I can't see them.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $16bn (€14.2bn) in 2014 and needs to get its money back, so is (sigh) introducing ads.

Sadly it won't get rid of its most annoying feature, which are the 50 people in every group who reply "OK", "Cool", or a thumbs-up emoji to every post. And it's worth remembering the old adage: If you can't work out what the product is, it's you.

Irish Independent

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