Two suspected loan sharks have been arrested after a joint operation in Southwark by the Met, England Illegal Money Lending Team and Southwark Trading Standards.
A 47-year-old woman and 66-year-old man were taken into custody yesterday (Wednesday July 7) after three addresses were searched under warrant in the morning.
They were both arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences, with the man also arrested on suspicion of fraud by misrepresentation and attempted burglary.
Tony Quigley, head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks are notorious for preying on vulnerable people in financial hardship.
“This criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in London and we will continue to work with our partners to eradicate illegal money lenders in communities.
Acting Police Sergeant Kev Webster from the Metropolitan Police: “Unlicensed money lending causes distress and despair for so many and leaves people living in fear of threats and intimidation.
“Two arrests have been made by officers from the local safer neighbourhood teams and the investigations are ongoing.
“Today’s action demonstrates there is no place for illegal money lending in London.”
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 £83 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 30,000 people.
To report a loan shark and access specialist support, call the 24/7 confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete an online form at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.