Suspected loan shark arrested in Wirral

A man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Wirral.

Documentation and electronic devices were also seized after a warrant was executed at a residential property in Heswall on Wednesday, 30 September.

A 51-year-old man was taken into custody as part of the operation carried out by the England Illegal Money Lending Team in partnership with Wirral Council Trading Standards and Merseyside Police. He has since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We are committed to working in partnership with all support agencies, so together we can crackdown on loan sharks who target the most vulnerable in our communities.

“If you are the victim of a loan shark or have any questions as to how we can help, please call the hotline on 0300 555 2222.”

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.

Anyone needing support can get in touch via the Stop Loan Sharks Live Chat on the homepage or by calling the 24-hour helpline on 0300 555 2222.

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