Suspected loan shark arrested in Cambridgeshire

A 54-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering following an early-morning operation in Cambridgeshire.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from Cambridgeshire Police to execute a warrant at an address in the Sawston area on Tuesday, May 14.

Officers seized electronic devices and business premises in the Pampisford area was also searched.

The suspect was taken into custody and questioned by IMLT investigators. He is helping with inquiries.

The IMLT works in partnership with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards 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 work relentlessly to take action against those who blight our communities in this way.

“We urge anyone who thinks they may have borrowed from an illegal lender or has any knowledge about illegal lending to contact us in confidence. We realise that can be a difficult step for many, but we want to reassure people that they have done nothing wrong. We are here to help, not to judge.”

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).

This week (May 13 to 19, 2024) is Stop Loan Sharks Week, which has the theme No Blame, No Shame. Borrowers can sometimes feel afraid to admit they have borrowed from an illegal lender because they feel ashamed or think they have done something wrong, But the lender is the criminal not them.

This year is also the 20th anniversary of the IMLT. Since its launch, it has supported over 31,500 people and written off over £91.2 million worth of illegal debt, securing over 420 prosecutions for illegal money lending, leading to more than 600 years in jail.

Anyone who has been affected by illegal money lending should call the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.