Four arrests made during crackdown on suspected loan sharks

FOUR people suspected of illegal money lending have been arrested in Leeds this week.

Officers from the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Trading Standards and West Yorkshire Police executed warrants in Alwoodley, Guiseley and Kirkstall on Tuesday, 13 November.

Two women aged 46 and 49 years-old were arrested alongside a 49 year-old man on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering.

During the operation documentation, electronic devices and a large quantity of cash were seized.  The suspects have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

The team executed more warrants in Hunslet and Little London in an unconnected operation on Wednesday, 14 November.

A 37 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending, money laundering and fraud. Officers seized documentation and mobile phones and the investigation continues and enquiries are still on-going.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said:

“The IMLT will take action against those who choose to flout the law and lend money illegally. We will continue to work with our key partners to eradicate illegal money lenders from communities and we urge victims of loan sharks to contact us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 and help us bring unscrupulous lenders to justice.”

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for communities said:

“We are continuing to work extremely hard in Leeds with the Illegal Money Lending Team, the police and partners to crack down on those individuals involved in this type of activity, which makes the lives of so many people a misery.

“Our message to anyone who is a victim of loan sharks is that they are not alone and to please not suffer in silence. Here in Leeds, we are able to offer a range of better and alternative forms of lending to those offered by unscrupulous loan sharks, and we would urge people to please contact us for more details on what they are.”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 382 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 330 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off over £74 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

E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk 

Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject