Alleged ‘loan shark’ arrested in Lowestoft

TRADING Standards officers swooped on a 'suspected loan shark' in Lowestoft today, with a 56-year-old man being arrested in the town on suspicion of illegal money lending.

An investigation by the East of England Trading Standards illegal money lending team, in partnership with Suffolk County Council, led to the man being arrested on Wednesday and he currently remains in custody at Lowestoft police station.

'Warrants were executed at a business premise and a property, both in the Lowestoft area, this morning,' a spokesman for Trading Standards said. 'Documentation was seized at the business premises and the 56-year-old man is currently in custody, assisting officers from the team with their enquiries.'

Reg Ruffles, assistant county trading standards officer, said: 'Loan sharks prey on vulnerable people who often feel they have no alternative but to accept the extortionate charges and malicious tactics. However, Suffolk credit unions can offer help with responsible loans and work closely with the Citizens Advice Bureau who can offer debt management advice.'

Nationally the Stop Loan Sharks project has so far helped more than 14,500 victims, seized and confiscated over �2.5 million, written off over �25m of illegal debt and secured almost 80 years of prison sentences for illegal money lending and related criminal activity.