Suspected Loan Shark Arrested in Hammersmith

48-year-old woman detained in dawn raid

Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) officers executed the warrant
Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) officers executed the warrant

May 21, 2024

A multi-agency operation saw the arrest of a 48-year-old woman in Hammersmith this Tuesday (21 May) on suspicion of illegal money lending.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) executed a warrant in the early hours, working in partnership with officers from the Metropolitan Police.

Electronic devices, cash and documents were seized by IMLT officers, and the suspect was taken into custody to be questioned.

The IMLT works in partnership with Hammersmith & Fulham Trading Standards Service to investigate and prosecute loan sharks.

Head of the IMLT, Tony Quigley, said, “Today’s arrest is part of our ongoing work across England to tackle illegal money lending.

“If anyone thinks they may have been targeted by an illegal lender, or has knowledge about illegal lending activity, we urge them to contact us. They can speak to our officers in complete confidence, by calling the hotline number, 0300 555 2222.

“We realise it may be a difficult step to take, but we are here to do everything we can to help.”

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).

Many illegal money lenders are well known within their communities and are often introduced to borrowers through friends or family members. They are unregulated and give loans with no paperwork, often charging high interest rates. They can resort to threats, intimidation and even violence if repayments are not made.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the IMLT. Since its launch, it has supported over 31,500 people and written off over £91.2 million worth of illegal debt, securing over 420 prosecutions for illegal money lending, leading to more than 600 years in jail.

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 Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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