Suspected loan shark arrested in Liverpool

A 35-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences, following an operation in Liverpool. 

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Liverpool City Council’s Trading Standards team and Merseyside Police executed a warrant at an address in Fazakerley this morning, Tuesday, October 26.

Officers seized documentation and electronic devices during a search of the property.

The suspect remains in police custody for questioning.

Tony Quigley, Head of the England IMLT said: “Loan sharks are criminals who are motivated by greed, they prey on vulnerable people and often make threats and use violence in order to enforce payments.

“We will not tolerate this type of behaviour and we are committed to working with our partners to remove loan sharks from communities. I urge anyone who believes that they are a victim to call our national helpline or access support via live chat on our website.”

Residents are being advised to watch out for warning signs of loan sharks and report them if they are approached by one.

A loan shark may:

  • Give little or no paperwork
  • Avoid telling the interest rate or how much is still owed
  • Add random charges or keep increasing the amount
  • Take items as security, such as passports, bank cards or driving licences
  • Refuse to allow you to settle your debt
  • Resort to intimidation, threats or violence

The IMLT recently launched an interactive film with Liverpool-based Perception Theatre warning young people about the online dangers of loan sharks.

During the pandemic, some loan sharks moved their activities online, using social media platforms to prey on those who are most vulnerable.

The interactive film ‘SHARK’ puts viewers in the shoes of the main character Liam, allowing them to make choices on his behalf and decide what happens next after he is introduced to a loan shark on Snapchat.

The scenarios presented in the film are designed to highlight the risks faced by young people on social media and the consequences that can occur when borrowing from illegal money lenders. The situations are based on real-life experiences of victims of loan sharks.

SHARK is available to view online at www.perceptiontheatre.com/shark 

Anyone with concerns about loan sharks can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24 Hour Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or use our secure online report form. Live Chat is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Just click on the chat button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to talk online safely and in confidence with our support team.