Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Island company sues for damages after police search

An Isle of Man-based tax consultancy firm has said it will claim for damages after an "inappropriate" police search.

The Douglas Head Office of the Montpelier Group was searched by HM Revenue and Customs and Isle of Man police officers in September 2010.

The warrant used in the police operation was later quashed in court and the entry declared "unlawful".

A spokesman from the group said the damage from the negative publicity had resulted in over 40 redundancies.

"While it is pleasing the Isle of Man search warrant has been quashed that is of no comfort to those members of staff who lost their jobs," he said.

"Montpelier will now pursue a claim for substantial damages for the unlawful entry, search and seizure from the Isle of Man Constabulary."

International firm

During the investigation the HMRC said that searches were part of an investigation centred around the suspicion that tax avoidance schemes had been implemented fraudulently.

A spokesman from the Isle of Man police said: "The Isle of Man Constabulary was directed to assist Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by Her Majesty's Attorney Generals Chambers following a Letter of Request being received under the island's Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties.

"The legality of these searches was later challenged and the Constabulary believes the Attorney General has accepted that there were technical problems with the assistance provided."

The Montpelier Group is an international company with offices in the UK, Barbados and Hong Kong.

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