Suspected loan shark arrested in Telford
A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Telford.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Telford and Wrekin trading standards and West Mercia Police, executed a warrant at a residential address in Woodside on Wednesday 24 June.
Officers seized digital storage devices during a search of the property.
Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Enforcement, said: “Our officers worked closely with Citizens Advice and the Illegal Money Lending Team in gathering intelligence ahead of this arrest. Our priority is to ensure our residents are protected and not exposed to these crimes.”
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “It’s disgraceful that opportunistic loan sharks are taking advantage of people’s financial worries and concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. “Despite the current lockdown, we will continue working with partners and communities, safeguarding the vulnerable and tackling illegal money lending. “Our advice to residents in need of financial support would be to turn to their local credit union rather than a loan shark, who could take advantage and charge exorbitant interest rates.”
Local community groups can now apply for funding for projects that contribute to raising awareness of the dangers of loan sharks. You can find out more and apply at www.stoploansharks.co.uk/news .
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 £83million of illegal debt and helped more than 30,000 people.