Suspected loan shark arrested in West Devon

Posted on: 26 April 2017

A 38 year-old man was arrested (Wednesday April 26) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering following an operation in Hatherleigh,

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service and Devon and Cornwall Police executed a warrant at a home address, seizing documentation and electronic devices.

The suspect is currently in custody and is being questioned by IMLT officers.

Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team said:

“We will continue to work with local authorities and the police to combat loan sharks. These criminals cause untold misery amongst our local communities.

“If you’ve been issued a loan with no paperwork attached, or are receiving threats over a loan you have already paid off, please get in touch with the IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained IMLT officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

Stephen Gardiner, Interventions Manager at Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service, said:

 “Illegal money lending often involves extortionate rates which trap victims in a cycle of debt. That is why Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service are happy to assist the Illegal Money Lending Team in investigations which will help protect our local communities from such consequences.”

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.

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