A 70 year-old man was arrested this morning (8 November 2017) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Joiner’s Square, Stoke-on-Trent.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with City of Stoke on Trent Trading Standards department and Staffordshire Police executed a warrant at a residential address, seizing documentation and electronic and storage devices.
The suspect is currently in custody and is being questioned by officers from the IMLT.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“We will continue to work with 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 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 officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
Cllr Randy Conteh, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Communities and Safer City, said:
“Loan sharks are notorious for targeting people when they are at their most desperate – exploiting and profiting from their situation, and threatening and intimidating victims.
“I would like to reassure residents that the city council is absolutely determined to identify the people responsible for illegally lending money and to stop loan sharking in our communities.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 27,000 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