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A 54 year-old man was arrested this morning (19, April) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering following an operation in Whitmore Reans.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) who work in partnership with Wolverhampton City Council’s Trading Standards Department and West Midlands Police, executed a warrant at a home address, seizing electronic devices and a large quantity of cash.

The suspect is currently in custody and is being questioned by officers.

Last week, a 35 year-old man from Oxley was arrested for loan sharking offences and the cultivation of a controlled drug as part of an unrelated operation. The suspect was questioned and was later released under investigation whilst enquiries continue.

Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team said:

“We will continue to work local authorities and the police to combat loan sharks. These criminals cause untold misery amongst our local communities.

“If you’ve been issued a loan with no paperwork attached, or are receiving threats over a loan you have already paid off, please get in touch with IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained IMLT officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

Cllr Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Environment, said:

“Greedy illegal money lenders – better known as loan sharks – exploit people who are often vulnerable and desperate. They work outside of the strict laws that govern the money lending market. City of Wolverhampton Council is determined to work with our partners at the Illegal Money Lending Team to put a stop to these extortionists and today’s action is further evidence that we mean business. Anyone who needs to borrow money from a safe and responsible lender should contact Wolverhampton City Credit Union – a not-for-profit community bank owned and run by its members. The credit union has offices on Worcester Street in Wolverhampton City Centre.

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 370 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222

Text a report to 078600 22116

Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk

E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject