Suspected loan sharks arrested in Wigan

A 51-year-old man and a 43 year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences following an operation in Wigan.

Officers from The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from Greater Manchester Police to execute a warrant at an address in the area on Wednesday (February 15).  Officers seized mobile phones and documentary evidence during a search of the property.

The IMLT works in partnership with Wigan Council Trading Standards to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.

The suspects were taken into custody and questioned by investigators. The male has been released on bail.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said: “Illegal money lending will not be tolerated in Wigan borough, and we will continue to work with our partners to take action against those who blight our communities in this way”.

“If you have been offered a cash loan, threatened when you couldn’t pay, had your bank card taken from you as security or if what you owe keeps growing even though you are making payments, then you may well have been bitten by a loan shark.

“If you, or anyone you know, has experienced any of these things or has any knowledge of loan shark activities then contact our team in complete confidence. We will help you escape the clutches of these ruthless criminals.”

Wigan Council Trading Standards, said: “Illegal money lending is unacceptable, and we support the Illegal Money Lending Team’s work to prevent the activities of loan sharks in the county.

“Illegal money lenders often start by being very friendly and seem to offer the answer to people’s problems, but that soon changes as the debt and interest charges grow. We encourage everyone to follow the Illegal Money Lending Team’s advice and to report any suspected loan sharks.

“As the cost of living puts household budgets under increasing pressure, it is important to get advice about problem debt as early as possible. There are organisations throughout the county that can help free of charge such as Citizens Advice, Stepchange Debt Charity and National Debtline.”