A 52 year-old man was arrested this morning (10 January 2018) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Runcorn.
The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Halton Borough Council Trading Standards and Cheshire Police executed a warrant at a residential address in Beechwood, seizing documentation and electronic devices.
The suspect is currently in custody and is being questioned by officers from the IMLT.
Tony Quigley, Head of the 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 or you are receiving threats over a loan you have already paid off, we urge you to get in touch on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
Cllr Dave Cargill, Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Community Safety, said: “Loan sharks are not welcome in Halton and we will continue to work closely with the Illegal Money Lending Team to stamp out this awful crime that affects the most vulnerable.
“Our message to residents is to only borrow from safe and regulated lenders, such as Halton Credit Union. If you join now and save a little each week for next Christmas, this will keep you and your family safe from loan sharks.”
Halton Credit Union is open to everybody. Become a member by visiting one of their branches: 115-116 Runcorn Shopping Centre, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 2BY (Tel: 01928 790571), or 27 Queens Avenue, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 8HR (Tel: 0151 257 8753). Visit their website www.haltoncu.co.uk or phone for opening hours.
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 27,500 people.