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Tuesday 25 November 2014

Council team seize Crewe loan shark in joint operation


A loan shark who charged his ‘clients’ 10 per cent interest per week has been arrested and cautioned as a result of a joint operation by Cheshire East Council Trading Standards and the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

The 43-year-old man was arrested at his home in Crewe on Thursday morning (November 20) in a raid involving the two teams and supported by Cheshire Police.

In the operation code named ‘Ellef,’ a number of documents and mobile phones were seized for examination and revealed that the offender had been lending to four borrowers since 2012.

The man admitted operating a money lending scheme without a licence and received a police caution.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for localism and enforcement said: “Illegal money lending is a serious offence and can cause untold misery for families and individuals already facing financial pressures.

“While there is no suggestion this was the case here, illegal money lending is often followed up by violence and intimidation when borrowers struggle to meet the high interest rates these loan sharks demand.

“We at Cheshire East Council are pleased to be working alongside the Illegal Money Lending Team for England, applying enforcement action wherever we can to identify and arrest offenders.”

Cheshire East Council has been pro-active in clamping down on illegal money lending, working closely with the Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union (CNCU) to promote safe and secure lending with savings accounts and affordable loans for people who may not be able to borrow money from high street banks.

The Council has also banned ‘payday’ loan companies from its web sites in all the Borough’s public libraries.

If you have been offered a loan by an unlicensed money lender, or threatened by a money lender then please contact the Illegal Money Lending Team who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0300 555 2222;

or by text to: loan(space)shark(space) + your message to 60003

Calls to the above are treated in the strictest confidence.

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