Woman arrested in Suffolk on suspicion of being a loan shark

A 42-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending during an early morning operation in Suffolk.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) executed a warrant at an address in the Woodbridge area, near Ipswich, working in partnership with officers from Suffolk Police on Tuesday, April 23.

The suspect was taken into custody to be questioned by IMLT investigators.

Officers seized electronic devices and paperwork during the operation which follows an investigation in partnership with Suffolk Trading Standards.

Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “We would like to thank our partners for working with us on this operation and inquiries will continue.

“We would urge anyone who has any knowledge about illegal money lending in any area across England to get in touch with us. We realise it might be a difficult step for some people, but our officers are here to help, not to judge, People can contact us in confidence, 24 hours a day.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the IMLT, which investigates and prosecutes loan sharks and supports borrowers across England. Since its launch, the team has supported over 31,500 people and written off over £91.2 million worth of illegal debt, securing over 416 prosecutions for illegal money lending, leading to 598 years in jail.

There are up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England, according to figures from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

Anyone who has been affected by illegal money lending should call the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.