Income Recovery & Financial Inclusion Officers worked with the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) and Devon and Cornwall Police to stop a suspected loan shark.
Income Recovery and Financial Inclusion Officers worked with the IMLT to provide information which enabled the team along with Devon and Cornwall Police to arrest the suspected loan shark.
A loan shark is someone who lends money illegally without holding authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority. Loan sharks rarely, if ever, give paperwork and if payments are missed they often use intimidation or violence to get their money.
The Liaise South West Officer for the Stop Loan Sharks Team at Trading Standards said: “We want to thank the Incomes Team for their help with our case in Plymouth. The suspect was arrested and there seems to be a number of people who have been using his so called services.
The IMLT has spoken to a number of people during the course of investigating this case. Without people coming forward we would never be able to put cases like this together so PCH’s help is very much appreciated.”
John Smith said: “This piece of work started off as a simple suspicion. From that it became two years of work for the team and looking for crucial evidence to enable us to make a report to the Illegal Money Lending Team. I was collating information provided by the incomes team and then Katie Tomlinson identified and gave me a vital piece of evidence which meant that I could pass on our suspicions to the ILMT – it really was a team effort. I hope that this sends out a message for those who might be trying to exploit our residents and that we will not give up until we are able to protect the people that live in our homes.
“Loan sharks cause misery and hardship to people and they are acting illegally. It costs nothing to find out if your lender is acting illegally. If you are in any doubt then there are many ways of reporting this either to PCH or the IMLT.”
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the IMLT said: “We will continue to work with local authorities and the police to combat loan sharks. These criminals cause untold misery amongst our local communities.
“If you’ve been issued a loan with no paperwork or are receiving threats over a loan you have already paid off, please get in touch with the IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained IMLT officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 378 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 325 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call PCH on 0808 230 6500
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 07860 022 116
Visit the website: www.stoploansharks.co.uk