Romford woman arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending
- Credit: PA
A 50-year-old woman has been arrested in Romford on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering.
A warrant was executed at an address on Tuesday (August 3), following a partnership between The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), London Borough of Havering Trading Standards and the Metropolitan Police.
Officers seized electronic devices during a search of the property.
The suspect was taken into police custody for questioning.
She has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
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Head of IMLT Tony Quigley said: “Loan sharks are notorious for targeting people when they are at their most vulnerable – exploiting and profiting from their situation and threatening and intimidating victims.
“I would like to reassure residents that the IMLT is absolutely determined to identify the people responsible for illegally lending money and to stop loan sharking in communities.”
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The team warned common signs that people might be dealing with a loan shark include them refusing to provide proper paperwork about a loan, or information about time left on the loan.
The loan shark may also keep adding "unfair" amounts of interest to the amount owed, so that it never goes down, and they might use scare tactics such as threats if people miss payments.
They may also pretend to be a friend at first but threaten to tell others about the debt if the person fails to pay back money on time, and withhold valuables such as passports or bank cards.
If you have been affected by illegal money lending and need support, you can call the 24/7 confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222 or start a live chat at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.