Loan shark from Newham spared jail over £200,000 money lending racket

PUBLISHED: 18:38 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:38 09 November 2018

Wood Green Crown Court. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Images

Wood Green Crown Court. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Two loan sharks who stood to pocket tens of thousands of pounds in an illegal money lending racket have been spared jail.

Chortip Thurahai, 48, and Nicholas Harris, 59, lent nearly £158,000 to vulnerable people including a woman who needed the money to help her sick mother.

The pair was due to rake in more than £83,500 from desperate borrowers in interest payments alone.

Thurahai, of Adine Road, Plaistow, was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, on Friday, November 2 after pleading guilty to illegal money lending and money laundering offences at an earlier hearing. He also received a six-month curfew order.

Harris, of Maidstone Road, Enfield, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, following similar guilty pleas. He must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work as well.

Wood Green Crown Court heard how the duo handed out illicit loans to 11 people between September 2015 to June 2017.

One victim needed funds for her mother in Thailand, who was suffering from throat cancer.

After she fell behind on her repayments, Thurahai and two other women arrived at her door and demanded £851.

Their scheme was scuppered following a joint investigation by the Met, Newham Council’s Trading Standards team, Enfield Council and the Birmingham-based Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT).

Officers seized loan agreements stored on an iCloud account, mobile phones and £7,000 in cash following searches of the pair’s homes.

Speaking after the sentencing, Tony Quigley, the head of the IMLT’s branch in England, said Thurahai and Harris’s victims were some of estimated 310,000 households nationwide trapped “into a spiral of debt” by illegal money lenders.

“Loan sharks are criminals who prey on vulnerable people and blight communities,” he said.

“This result sends a clear message that illegal money lending will not be tolerated and those caught flouting the law will be brought to justice.”

Deputy mayor of Newham Charlene McLean said the criminal duo exploited added: “Two criminal loan sharks who exploit the most vulnerable in our society have been put out of business.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Newham Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

Behind closed doors friendly: Leyton Orient 1 Bristol City 2

George Elokobi
Yesterday, 19:00

Pupils at a junior school in Forest Gate created a garden of Remembrance to mark Armistice Day.

Forest Gate
Yesterday, 13:00

Veteran manager signs up for stint on reality TV show

Yesterday, 12:00

The 66-year-old, who helped produce ‘The Greater Game’ play, praised the work of Justin Edinburgh

Josh Koroma
Yesterday, 15:57

Pupils in Manor Park unveiled a garden of handmade poppies on Monday to mark a century since the end of the First World War.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wapping’s men moved to the top of the East Premier A table with a 3-1 win over previous leaders St Albans at Lee Valley.

Yesterday, 14:00

Campaigners face a delay in discovering the fate of their beloved Manor Park pub, after a planning committee deferred approving the redevelopment application.

Stephen Timms


Have you spent time as an unpaid carer? If you are over the age of 25 and living in Newham, the Working for Carers scheme can help you take the first steps back to employment.

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now