Woman arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending in Crewe

A 63-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending following an operation in Crewe.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked with officers from Cheshire Police to execute a warrant at an address on January 10, 2024.

Electronic devices and paperwork were seized and the suspect was taken into custody and questioned by IMLT investigators. She is helping with inquiries.

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

Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “We work hard with our partners to take action against illegal money lenders who make life a misery for the most vulnerable in our communities.

“We want to reassure anyone who thinks they have borrowed from an illegal lender that they have done nothing wrong, and we would urge them to contact our team, in confidence if needed, for expert support and advice.”

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).

The warning signs of an illegal lender include:

  • Giving you no paperwork or agreement on a loan 
  • Refusing to give you information about the loan 
  • Keeping items until the debt is paid such as your bank card or passport
  • Taking things from you if you don’t pay on time 
  • Adding more interest or charges so the debt never goes down 
  • Using intimidation or violence if you don’t pay

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.