A 36 year-old woman was arrested this morning (Thursday, 13th July) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Woodside, Croydon.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Croydon Council’s Trading Standards Department and The Metropolitan Police Service executed a warrant at a home address, seizing documentation, electronic devices and a quantity of cash.
The suspect is currently in custody and is being questioned by officers from the IMLT.
Forming part of the same operation, a 44 year-old woman and 49 year-old man from Sydenham were arrested in November last year on suspicion of the same offences. Both suspects have been released under investigation whilst enquiries continue.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“We will continue to work with local authorities and the police to combat loan sharks. These criminals cause untold misery amongst our local communities.
“If you’ve been issued a loan with no paperwork or are receiving threats over a loan you have already paid off, please get in touch with IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained IMLT officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, Croydon Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Safety and Justice, said:
“There are always tempting reasons to borrow money and vulnerable people will use the illegitimate services of a loan shark as a last resort. They are unaware of the extortionate interest rates they charge and the dangers of getting involved with these criminals.
“Illegal money lending causes great misery to people once they get caught up in the cycle. It can lead to harassment, intimidation and threats, and it’s known that these unscrupulous lenders take borrowers personal items as security and extort payments by other means.
“Croydon supports the work of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, and applauds its efforts to bring loan sharks to book.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 378 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 325 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 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