Loan shark suspect arrested in Surrey

A 36-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending following an operation in Surrey.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from Surrey Police to execute a warrant on Tuesday, January 23.

The suspect was arrested at an address in the Epsom area. Officers seized electronic devices and the suspect was taken into custody and questioned by IMLT investigators. He is helping with inquiries.

The IMLT works in partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.

Tony Quigley, head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We would urge anyone who has information about possible illegal money lending activities to contact us.

“We realise it may be difficult for people to come forward, but we would like to reassure then that our expert team is there to offer specialist advice and support 24/7 and we will help in any way we can.

“Our hotline is confidential, and people don’t have to give their name if they don’t want to.”

There are up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England, according to figures from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

The warning signs of an illegal lender include:

  • Giving you no paperwork or agreement on a loan 
  • Refusing to give you information about the loan 
  • Keeping items until the debt is paid such as your bank card or passport
  • Taking things from you if you don’t pay on time 
  • Adding more interest or charges so the debt never goes down 
  • Using intimidation or violence if you don’t pay

Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.