Suspected loan shark arrested in Wirral

A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Wirral.

Specialist officers from the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), working in partnership with Merseyside Police and Wirral Trading Standards, executed warrants at a residential property in Prenton and business premises in Moreton this morning (Wednesday, 29 July).

Documentation and electronic devices were seized as part of the investigation. The suspect is currently being questioned in custody.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks are highly manipulative and deceitful as they gain people’s trust when they are at their most vulnerable and exploit them for financial gain.

“We will continue to work with our partners to gather intelligence and take action against those suspected of being involved in illegal money lending activities.

“We would urge anyone who believes they may be the victim of a loan shark to come forward at the earliest opportunity and report their concerns so we can offer our support and protect them.”

Wirral Council Leader, Cllr Pat Hackett, said: “It is often the most vulnerable in our communities who are preyed upon by loan sharks who intimidate them and make them feel frightened, not just for themselves, but for members of their family.

“Loan sharks can cause absolute misery for the people they lend money to and we will work with all our partners to bring these illegal money lenders to justice.”

Credit unions are recommended as a safe, alternative lending and saving facility. To find out about Wirral Credit Union’s ethical financial products visit www.wirralcu.org.uk or pop into your local branch.

To report a loan shark call the 24/7 confidential helpline 0300 555 2222, email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk or complete an online form at www.stoploansharks.co.uk