Suspected loan shark arrested in Leeds after warrant executed

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

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Documentation and electronic devices were seized when a warrant was executed at a residential address in central Leeds yesterday. (June 19)

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A 53-year-old man was also arrested as part of the operation by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and West Yorkshire Police.

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The suspect is currently being held in custody while he is questioned by officers from the IMLT.

Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “Loan sharks prey on some of the most vulnerable members in our society and so it’s vitally important we work with key organisations to combat illegal money lending and protect residents.

“Today’s operation sends out a clear message to all those involved in this type of criminal activity that we will not tolerate loan sharks in West Yorkshire."

Coun Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said: “Loans sharks often and deliberately prey on the most vulnerable in our society, and we work with the Illegal Money Lending Team, Trading Standards and the Police, to take action against those people involved in this type of unscrupulous behavior.

“We would like to reassure victims they are not alone and that a wide range of help and support is available in Leeds to anyone affected by a loan shark.”

The IMLT have released a new video, which aims to raise awareness of how parents are affected by loan sharks.

It comes after research showed half of all loan shark victims are parents of children.

Mr Quigley said: "We urge residents who have fallen victim to this crime to contact us in confidence and help us bring these unscrupulous lenders to justice.”

How to report a loan shark

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222

Text a report to 078600 22116

Private message the IMLT via www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject