Suspected loan shark arrested in Luton

A 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences, following an operation in Luton.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with Luton Borough Council trading standards and Bedfordshire Police to execute warrants at a residential address and business premises in the borough yesterday morning, Tuesday, May 18. 

Officers seized documentation and electronic devices during the searches.

The suspect was questioned in custody before later being released under investigation.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team 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.

“The Illegal Money Lending Team 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 24-hour 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.

Confidential help and further information for victims of loan sharks is available from the Illegal Money Lending Team, 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the helpline number 0300 555 2222 or at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.