News item

Suspected loan sharks arrested following operation in Leeds

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending, following an operation in Leeds this morning.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team working in partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards and West Yorkshire Police executed a warrant at two residential address in the Bramley and Swinnow areas, seizing cash and documentary evidence. 

The suspects aged 60 and 56 are currently in custody assisting officers from the Team with their enquiries.

David Lodge Divisional Manager at West Yorkshire Trading Standards said “Working with the England Illegal Money Lending Team we are continuing tackle criminals who have such a detrimental impact on individuals and communities. We would encourage anyone who has been affected by a loan shark to come forward as the Team can take action. Call 0300 555 2222 to speak to a specialist investigator in confidence. Lines are open 24/7.”

Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured 235 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to 157 years worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £40.3 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 20,000 victims.

To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222 
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003 
E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk 
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject


***ENDS***


For more information contact Sarah-Jane Lynch, Illegal Money Lending Team communications officer, on 0121 693 1030 or 07881617119 or email sarah-jayne.lynch@birmingham.gov.uk. To speak to the National Trading Standards Board with a more general enquiry please contact the Trading Standards Institute press office on 0845 6089430 or pressoffice@tsi.org.uk


Notes to editors


The National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards. 

NTSB provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally.

The Stop Loan Sharks Project consists of three Illegal money lending teams in England, Scotland and Wales.  The NTSB has responsibility for the England and Wales Illegal Money Lending Teams that are hosted by Birmingham City Council and Cardiff Council. There are separate arrangements in place in Scotland. 

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured 235 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 157 years-worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £40.3 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 20,000 people.

The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities in their related countries. They consist of specialist officers who investigate and prosecute illegal money lending and related activity and LIAISE officers who support victims and raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders. 
 
DATE: 26 June 2013