A 36 year-old man was arrested yesterday (Tuesday, 11th July) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering following an operation in Tooting, South London.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with London Borough of Wandsworth Trading Standards Department and The Metropolitan Police executed a warrant at a home address, seizing documentation and electronic devices.
The suspect was questioned by IMLT officers before being released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“We will continue to work with local authorities and the police to combat loan sharks. These criminals cause untold misery amongst our local communities.
“If you’ve been issued a loan with no paperwork or are receiving threats over a loan you have already paid off, please get in touch with IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained IMLT officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
Cllr Jonathan Cook, Wandsworth Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
“Wandsworth Council will continue to support the work of the Illegal Money Lending Team in cracking down on unscrupulous loan sharks who make borrowers lives a misery.
“Loan sharks pose a serious threat to some of the most vulnerable members of society. In extreme cases, violence or intimidation is used to pressure victims into paying money back. That’s why it is so important to stop these criminals from operating in our borough.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 378 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 325 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject