Suspected loan shark arrested following operation in Sunderland
A 40 year old man been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending, following an operation in Sunderland this morning.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team working in partnership with Sunderland City Council and Northumbria Police executed a warrant at a residential address in the Washington area seizing cash and documentation.
The suspect is currently in custody assisting officers from the Team with their enquiries.
James Blackburn, Portfolio Holder for City Services, Sunderland City Council said “Anyone who suspects unlicensed money lending should report it immediately to the Illegal Money Lending Team hotline 0300 555 2222.
This kind of lending is illegal and the City Council works closely with its partners in the Illegal Money Lending Team to identify and prosecute loan sharks.”
Paul Stewart, Neighbourhood Inspector for Washington, said: "Northumbria Police is aware that illegal money lending does take place, particularly in this tough financial climate.
"Illegal money lenders target those people in the community who are vulnerable and generate a spiral of debt which victims can't get out of.
"We are determined, with our partners, to put disrupt this activity and put loan sharks out of business. I hope today's action demonstrates just that.
Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 190 years worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £42 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 23,000 victims.
To report a loan shark:
- Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
- Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject
For more information contact Sarah-Jane Lynch, Illegal Money Lending Team communications officer, on 0121 693 1030 or 07881617119 or email email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 190 years-worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £42 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 23,000 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: 09 January 2014