FOUR suspected loan sharks have been arrested in raids in Wallasey this morning (September 20).
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with officers from Wirral Council Trading Standards and Merseyside Police executed warrants in Liscard, seizing documentation, cash, electronic devices and a quantity of a substance suspected to be controlled drugs.
Two women, aged 18 and 60 years-old and a 21 year-old man were arrested on suspicion of offences including illegal money lending, money laundering and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to supply at one address.
Officers also searched a second address where a 44 year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering and an 18 year-old man for unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
The suspects are currently in custody and are being questioned by police and IMLT officers.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“Loan sharks are unscrupulous criminals who prey on vulnerable communities, charging exorbitant rates of interest and using fear and intimidation to recover monies ‘owed’.
“This criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in Merseyside and we will continue to work with our council and police partners to eradicate illegal money lenders from communities.
“We urge victims of loan sharks to contact us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 and help us bring those responsible to justice.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 382 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 329 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £73.7 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
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject