A woman has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Enfield.
Cash, documentation and electronic devices were also seized after a warrant was executed at a residential property in Edmonton on Tuesday, 13th October.
A 60-year-old woman was taken into custody as part of the operation carried out by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with Enfield Council Trading Standards and the Metropolitan Police. She has since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks are a scourge on society and cause harm and misery to their victims, but we are continuing to tackle them in London and across the country.
“We would urge anyone aware of any illegal money lending activity to call us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 so we can take action. Our lines are open 24/7 and callers can remain anonymous.”
The IMLT have launched a new smartphone app to make it quicker and easier for people to report loan sharks and access support services.
The Stop Loan Sharks app includes a contact form and phone number to report loan sharks, as well as information to help victims of illegal money lending to get support.
It also offers users advice on the tell-tale signs that someone is a loan shark. These include offering cash loans without any paperwork, charging extortionate interest, use of benefit or bank cards as security, and threatening behaviour or violence to get money.
Cllr George Savva, Cabinet Member for Licensing and Regulatory Services at Enfield Council said: “Sadly, many people are tempted to borrow from loan sharks to make ends meet. Illegal money lenders are experts at preying on the desperate and vulnerable, and particularly during these very difficult times.
“While we would ask residents to be extra vigilant and to look out for friends and family, Enfield Council with partner colleagues will continue to work consistently and diligently to prevent loan sharks from operating in the borough.”
The IMLT have secured more than 400 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to 586 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £83 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 30,000 people.
To report a loan shark call the 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email us, or complete an online form here. Live Chat is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Click on the chat icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page to chat to our support team.