Police in Jersey illegally searched premises linked to Roman Abramovich

Police in Jersey have admitted to conducting unlawful searches at premises allegedly linked to Roman Abramovich - and have agreed to pay damages and apologise, according to a legal document seen by Reuters.

Police were granted search warrants and investigated premises linked to the Russian billionaire in April 2022, seizing documents and devices.

However Reuters have reported that in a consent order dated November 9, Jersey police acknowledged that "the search warrants were obtained unlawfully" and agreed "that the search warrants should be quashed".

Reuters' report said that police also agreed to pay damages and costs, confirmed that all copies of documents seized in the searches had been destroyed and the police would apologise to Abramovich.

ITV Channel TV has spoken to a representative from Jersey Police who said that the unlawful searches were carried out by the Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit (ECCU) - a separate body in Jersey.

However, two or three Jersey Police officers were seconded to this unit in April 2022.

ECCU comes under the Attorney General's Law Officers' Department and utilises the services of officers seconded from Jersey Police.

In a statement, the Law Officers' Department said: "The saisie judiciaire imposed on 12 April 2022 remains in force. We are unable to comment on live investigations."

A spokeswoman for Abramovich told Reuters: "Mr Abramovich has always acted in accordance with the law, we are pleased that the Jersey Police have conceded in relation to these unlawful and unfounded searches."The Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner was named as the Channel Islands' most wealthy resident in 2018.

Roman Abramovich was disqualified as a director of the club by the board of the Premier League board last month, as a result of UK-enforced sanctions on Russia.

Jersey Police have said they will not comment at this time.