A 60-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Exeter.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards and Devon and Cornwall Police executed a warrant at a residential property this morning (Wednesday 8th).
Officers seized documentation and electronic devices during a search of the address. The suspect is currently being questioned in police custody.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said: “We are determined to warn residents about the dangers of loan sharks, and we will work with partners to take action against them.
“Loan sharks are criminals that prey on the most vulnerable people in our communities. They trap their victims into spiralling debt and will often use intimidation and violence.
“We will not tolerate these activities in Exeter and would urge anyone with information about loan sharks to report them as soon as possible.”
Paul Thomas, Head of Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service said: “Loan sharks destroy lives. They profit from the most vulnerable in society and we work closely with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, the police and other partners to stamp out this illegal practice.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 394 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 480 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £74.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 29,000 people.
To report a loan shark, call the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222, text a report to 078600 22116 or complete an online form here.