Loan shark crackdown in Newcastle leads to further arrests
Two women, aged 40 and 46 were arrested this morning (08/02) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering following an operation in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Newcastle City Council Trading Standards and Northumbria Police executed warrants at two home addresses seizing documentation and electronic devices.
The suspect’s currently remain in custody and are being questioned by IMLT officers.
Forming part of the same operation, a 51 year-old man and 57 year-old woman were also arrested last Wednesday (01/02) after IMLT officers seized documentation, a quantity of cash and electronic devices from their addresses. The two subjects have been released on police bail until June.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team said:
“We will continue to work to combat loan sharks. They can cause untold misery to the most disadvantaged in our communities. We would urge anyone with information about loan sharking or victims of loan sharks to contact the team on 0300 555 2222.”
Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Joyce McCarty, who chairs the city’s financial inclusion group, said:
“Newcastle City Council has zero tolerance towards loan sharks. They exploit the vulnerable and make their lives a misery.
“It’s all too easy for people to fall prey to loan sharks – there is nothing shameful about it – but it is important that they speak to someone about their problems as it’s often the first step towards getting help.
“I welcome any action that is taken against loan sharks or suspected loan sharks. They must understand that we will not hesitate with our partners to put them before the courts for their despicable activities.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 370 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.