Loan shark suspects arrested in Birmingham

A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and following an operation in Birmingham.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from West Midlands Police to execute warrants at two addresses in the Selly Oak and Cotteridge areas on Thursday, October 5.

Officers seized documentation and electronic devices at both addresses.

The suspects, a man aged 71 and a woman aged 53, were taken into custody and are helping with inquiries.

The IMLT works in partnership with Birmingham City Council Trading Standards Service to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.

Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “Illegal money lending will not be tolerated in England, and we will continue to work with our partners to act against those who blight our communities in this way.

“If you think you or anyone you know has been targeted by an illegal lender, then get in touch with our team in complete confidence. Our specialist staff can offer support and advice on what to do next.”

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) reveals that there could be up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England.

The warning signs to look out for include:

  • No paperwork or agreement on a loan 
  • No information about the loan 
  • The lender keeping items until the debt is paid such as your bank card or passport
  • The lender takes things from you if you don’t pay on time 
  • The lender adds more interest or charges so the debt never goes down 
  • The lender uses 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.