Suspected loan sharks arrested in Plymouth

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Plymouth.

Cash, documentation and electronic devices were seized following raids on two properties in Devonport and Keyham yesterday (14 July).

The suspects, aged 27 and 46, were taken into custody as part of the operation by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with Plymouth City Council Trading Standards and Devon and Cornwall Police.

The men have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We are working closely with our partners to crack down on loan sharks and make clear that this is a crime that will not be tolerated. Loan sharks can cause misery for their victims, but there is help available and we would urge anyone with any information on illegal money lending activity to call the hotline in confidence. We also offer a live chat facility on our website between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, which allows victims to access practical and emotional support discreetly.”

The IMLT are working hard to raise awareness of alternative forms of lending, such as the City of Plymouth Credit Union, so people in desperate situations don’t feel they have to turn to loan sharks.

Local residents, charities, community and voluntary groups, schools and statutory agencies can apply for grants of up to £5,000 for projects that aim to tackle and raise awareness of loan sharks.

Details on funding can be found here.

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 400 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to 586 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £83 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 30,000 people.

To report a loan shark, call the 24/7 confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email us or complete an online form.