Suspected illegal money lenders arrested as part of crackdown in Midlothian & East Lothian

Wednesday April 5th 2023

Police-Van-Midlothian


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Officers from the Scottish Illegal Money Lending Unit (SIMLU), with the assistance of partner agencies, have this morning searched the premises of suspected illegal money lenders in Dalkeith, Midlothian resulting in a 59-year-old male and 56-year-old female being arrested in relation to suspected illegal money lending activities in Midlothian and East Lothian. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to this matter.

Fiona Richardson, Chief Officer of Trading Standards Scotland commented:

“Illegal money lenders exploit the most vulnerable in our communities. Illegal lenders use threats and intimidation to extort as much money from their borrowers as possible. This in turns results in people paying back exorbitant amount of money over a long period of time. Paying these illegal lenders puts pressure on people’s already strained finances. Working with our partners throughout Scotland we are committed to taking action against anyone who operates such practices.”

“With the cost of living increasing for people across the country and people struggling to access legitimate affordable credit, it is more important than ever that we take action against individuals involved in illegal money lending in our communities across Scotland”.

“Staff from the Illegal Money Lending team are able to provide support and advice to people impacted by illegal lending. This is done through our 24/7 confidential support line, 0800 074 0878. We would urge anyone that is aware of an illegal money lender operating in their area to report them.”

Enquiries are continuing and anyone who would like to discuss this issue is urged to contact the Scottish Illegal Money Lending Unit on their confidential support line, email stopillegallending@cosla.gov.uk, text 07741701325, or visit their website at www.stopillegallending.co.uk for further information.

The Scottish Illegal Money Lending Unit is part of Trading Standards Scotland which is based within COSLA. The Scottish Illegal Money Lending Unit is funded by HM Treasury through the levy placed on authorised credit businesses by the UK Government.

The Stop Loan Sharks Project consists of three Illegal money lending teams in England, Scotland and Wales. Jointly these organisations run the Stop Loan Sharks Campaign. The Scottish Illegal Money Lending came into being in 2004 as part of a pilot project under the then Department of Trade and Industry.

The Scottish Illegal Money Lending Unit works in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities across Scotland. The unit consists of specialist officers who investigate allegations of illegal money lending and related activity, submitting reports to the Procurator Fiscal as appropriate. The Unit also provide support for victims of illegal money lending and raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.

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