Loan shark arrest made as police detain woman on suspicion of illegal money lending

A 47-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences.

Officers recovered large quantities of cash, documentation and electronic devices
Officers recovered large quantities of cash, documentation and electronic devices

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) and West Midlands Police executed a search warrant at an address in the Tividale area of Oldbury on Wednesday, April 20.

Officers recovered large quantities of cash, documentation and electronic devices.

The suspect was taken into custody for questioning and has since been released under investigation.

The IMLT works in partnership with Sandwell Council Trading Standards and West Midlands Police to investigate and prosecute loan sharks.

Tony Quigley, head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said: "Loan sharks are criminals who prey on vulnerable people and they are blight on our communities.

"They fleece their victims and have been known to use intimidation and violence to get their money.

"Our enquiries into this case remain ongoing and we urge anyone who thinks they may have been targeted by a loan shark to please come forward so that we can protect you and help you to access specialist victim support."

Alice Davey, director of borough economy for Sandwell Council, added: "We fully support the work of the Illegal Money Lending Team.

"Loan sharks are unregulated, often give loans without any paperwork and charge extortionate interest rates.

"In many cases, victims are introduced to the lender either through a friend, family member or because they are known in the community.

"With many people and families struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living rises, residents may be tempted to go to loan sharks for a quick-fix to boost their finances."

In a recent report published last month, Swimming with Sharks, the Centre for Social Justice estimated that there could be up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England, with some lenders demanding sexual favours as repayment from borrowers.

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