East Ham loan shark is ordered to repay �370,000

A convicted loan shark from East Ham has been ordered to pay back over �370,000 to the courts after he “targeted vulnerable people in the Sri Lankan community.”

Kanadasaba Nadarajah, 69, will have to pay back �370,257.68 to the courts or face up to three and a half years in prison after he was convicted of illegal money lending and laundering in April.

Prosecutor Paul Greeno said Nadarajah, of Keppel Road, made almost �2,500,000 through an illegal business lending to members of the Sri Lankan community in Newham.

A quantity of jewellery, identified by victims who had handed this over “as security” on loans, was found at his home by the Illegal Money Lending Team who also seized documentation outlining names and amounts.

One particular ledger book detailed almost 800 loans, indicating that approximately �1.3million worth of loans had been given out illegally over eight years.

Many of Nadarajah’s borrowers took out loans to fund small businesses with one victim believing he paid between �30,000 and �40,000 on top of his loan.

In some cases the victims paid only the interest until they were able to pay the whole loan in full.

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Judge Bishop noted how Nadarajah kept “meticulous records” including a diary detailing jewellery which has been taken and spoke of how vulnerable and poor people were “burdened by interest payments they cannot afford.”

Cllr Unmesh Desai, cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour at Newham Council, said: “We are satisfied that Mr. Nadarajah has been brought to justice. He was targeting vulnerable people in the Sri Lankan community.

“Loan sharks such as himself operate outside the law, are unlicensed and members of the community should avoid becoming a victim of their heartless fraud at all costs.

“We will offer support and advice to the people affected by Mr. Nadarajah’s deceitful scam and we aim to continue to crack down on the amount of illegal money lending activity within the borough.”

To report a loan shark, call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222, text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003 or e-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk.