A 51 year-old woman was arrested this morning (31 January 2018) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Southampton.
The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Southampton City Council Trading Standards and Hampshire Constabulary executed a warrant at a residential address in Midanbury, seizing documentation, electronic devices and a quantity of cash.
The suspect is currently in custody and is being questioned by officers from the IMLT.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“Loan sharks prey on the most vulnerable members of our communities and extort them out of hard earned cash. We will continue to work with local authority and police partners to stamp out this awful crime.
“If you have any information about illegal money lending in your area or you would like to report a loan shark because you have fallen victim, please contact us on 0300 555 2222 or visit www.stoploansharks.uk. We will take information anonymously and in confidence.”
Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Leisure, said:
“The Council is fully supportive of the arrest of a loan shark based in Southampton as a result of an investigation led by the Illegal Money Lending Team. This action sends out a strong message that illegal activity that targets vulnerable people will not be tolerated in our city.
“Anyone with financial concerns can find help at https://www.southampton.gov.uk/ by searching for money and debt advice.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 329 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £73.7 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 28,000 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
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject