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Suspected loan sharks arrested in Birmingham

A 33-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences, following an operation in Birmingham.

The Birmingham City Council hosted England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with West Midlands Police to execute a warrant at an address in Castle Vale yesterday morning, Wednesday, May 12.

Officers seized electronic devices during a search of the property.

After being questioned in custody by officers, the pair were released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Councillor Philip Davis, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Illegal money lending causes great misery to people once they get caught up in the cycle. It can lead to harassment, intimidation and threats, and it’s known that these unscrupulous lenders take borrowers personal items as security and extort payments by other means.

“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. We urge people to report loan sharks to the IMLT at the earliest opportunity so they can intervene to stop the illegal lender and provide specialist support to victims.”

Residents are being advised to watch out for warning signs of loan sharks and report them if they are approached by one. A loan shark may:

  • Give little or no paperwork.
  • Avoid telling the interest rate or how much is still owed.
  • Add random charges or keep increasing the amount.
  • Take items as security, such as passports, bank cards or driving licences.
  • Pretend to be your friend, especially at first.
  • Refuse to allow you to settle your debt
  • Resort to intimidation, threats or violence.

Confidential help and further information for victims of loan sharks is available from the Illegal Money Lending Team, 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the helpline number 0300 555 2222. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.