Suspected loan shark arrested following operation in Wednesbury

A man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences following an operation in Wednesbury.

Officers from the England Illegal Money Lending Team worked in partnership with West Midlands Police to execute a search warrant at a residential address on Thursday.

The team works in partnership with Sandwell Council Trading Standards to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.

The 62-year-old suspect was taken into custody for questioning.

He has since been released under investigation.

Tony Quigley, head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We are committed to working with our partners to clamp down on illegal lenders and their exploitative practices.

“At a time when families are under extreme pressure with mounting living costs, we are deeply concerned that those who are already struggling to make ends meet could be targeted by these predatory lenders.

“If you think you may have been targeted by a loan shark or if you are worried about someone close to you, our helpline is available 24 hours a day on 0300 555 2222 for confidential advice and support.”

A report published by the Centre for Social Justice estimated that 1.08 million people may currently owe money to loan sharks, with some lenders demanding sexual favours as repayment from borrowers.

Warning signs to indicate that people could be dealing with a loan shark include giving no paperwork upon the agreement of a loan, refusing to provide detailed information about a loan, intimidation and threats, taking items such as a bank card or passport until the debt is paid, and taking things from them if they do not pay on time.

Anyone who has borrowed from a loan shark, or is worried about someone else who has, is urged to call the stop loan sharks 24-hour helpline on 0300 555 2222.

Alternatively, visit

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