A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending following an operation in the Southwark area of south London.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from the Metropolitan Police to execute a warrant at the address early this morning.
A man aged 68 and a 52-year-old woman were arrested and are helping with inquiries. Officers seized cash, electronic devices and paperwork at the property.
The IMLT works in partnership with Southwark Trading Standards Service to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.
Tony Quigley, head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said: “We will not tolerate illegal money lending and we work with our partners to remove these people from our communities.
“We are also here to offer confidential help and advice to anyone who thinks they may have fallen victim to an illegal lender. If you have been offered a loan with no paperwork or been pressured to make extortionate repayments, then get in touch with our team.”
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) revealed in its recent Swimming with Sharks report that there are up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England.
Many use intimidation and threats when borrowers struggle to repay and some demand sexual favours in lieu of payments.
The warning signs to look out for include:
Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Issued by Sally-Anne Youll, IMLT press officer. For media enquiries, please email Sally-Anne.Youll@birmingham.gov.uk or call 07840712850.
Notes to editors:
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England, Scotland and Wales work alongside the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate those operating within the consumer credit market without the appropriate authorisation.
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities in their related countries. They consist of specialist officers who investigate and prosecute illegal money lending and related activity and LIAISE officers who support victims and raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders