Suspected loan shark arrested in Leeds

A 59-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending following an operation in Leeds.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from West Yorkshire Police to execute a warrant at addresses in the Beeston area on Wednesday, November 22.

The suspect was taken into custody and is helping investigators from the IMLT with their inquiries. Officers seized electronic devices and documentation from the address.

The IMLT works in partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.

Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “We are determined to tackle the scourge of illegal money lending in England and we will continue to work with our partners across the country to take action.

“If you think you have been targeted by an illegal lender, you can contact our team in complete confidence for specialist support and advice.”

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) estimates there are up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England.

The signs of a loan shark include being offered a cash loan with no paperwork, being asked to hand over items like bank cards or a passport until the money is repaid, having interest or costs added so that the amount borrowed never goes down and being threatened or intimidated if you can’t pay.

Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.