Suspected loan sharks arrested in Tower Hamlets

A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Tower Hamlets.

Documentation, electronic devices and a large quantity of cash were seized following a raid on a property in the borough on Tuesday, 24 September.

A 42 year-old woman and 58 year-old man were taken into custody as part of the operation by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with London Borough of Tower Hamlets Trading Standards and the Metropolitan Police Service, and have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

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 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.”

David Tolley, Head of Environmental Health and Trading Standards at Tower Hamlets council said: “This action is another example of our services working closely with the police and partners to make Tower Hamlets safer. Loan sharks exploit vulnerable people and encourage spiralling debt and hardship and we urge residents to report illegal money lending. For those facing financial hardship, please seek professional assistance as money from unscrupulous loan sharks is not the solution.” 

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.