A 53 year-old man was arrested this morning (19 June 2018) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Leeds.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and West Yorkshire Police executed a warrant at a residential address in Central Leeds, seizing documentation and electronic devices.
The suspect is currently in custody and is being questioned by officers from the IMLT.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“Loan sharks prey on some of the most vulnerable members in our society and so it’s vitally important we work with key organisations to combat illegal money lending and protect residents.
“Today’s operation sends out a clear message to all those involved in this type of criminal activity that we will not tolerate loan sharks in West Yorkshire. We urge residents who have fallen victim to this crime to contact us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 and help us bring these unscrupulous lenders to justice.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Communities, said:
“Loans sharks often and deliberately prey on the most vulnerable in our society, and we work with the Illegal Money Lending Team, Trading Standards and the Police, to take action against those people involved in this type of unscrupulous behavior.
“We would like to reassure victims they are not alone and that a wide range of help and support is available in Leeds to anyone affected by a loan shark.”
The IMLT have released an impactful new video, which aims to bring awareness to the issue of how parents are affected by loan sharks.
Research shows 50% of loan shark victims are parents of children. The short dramatic video shows the devastating effect of illegal money lending on families and young people.
The video is now available to view here
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 382 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 329 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £73.7 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 28,000 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