Suspected loan sharks arrested in Oxfordshire

A 41-year-woman and 55-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Oxfordshire.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards and Thames Valley Police executed a warrant at a residential address in Abingdon this morning (13 August).

During a search of the property, officers recovered documentation and electronic devices.

The suspects are currently being questioned in police custody.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks are unscrupulous criminals who prey on vulnerable people. This type of criminality will not be tolerated in Oxfordshire and we will continue to work with our partners to take robust action against illegal money lenders.

“I urge anyone who is suffering at the hands of loan sharks to contact the team in confidence on 0300 555 2222.”

Oxfordshire County Councillor for Community Safety, Judith Heathcoat, said: “Loan sharks not only ruin the lives of their victims and their families, but can also have a wider damaging impact on the local community they target.  This work is an excellent example of national and local partners, working together, to protect residents and hold offenders to account.”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 394 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 480 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £74.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 29,000 people.

To report a loan shark call the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222, text a report to 078600 22116 or complete a secure form here.