Suspected loan shark arrested in Kent

A woman was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Kent.

Cash, documentation and electronic devices were seized after a warrant was executed at a residential property in East Malling on Wednesday, November 4.

A 46-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 Kent County Council Trading Standards and Kent Police.

The woman has 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 Kent 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.

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 our 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk or complete an online form to request support here.

Our live chat service is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Click on the box in the bottom right-hand corner to chat with us.

The Stop Loan Sharks app is free to download on both iOS and Android devices from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.