Jail for loan shark caught after East Ham raid

Southend Crown Court (Picture: Johnny Green/PA)

Southend Crown Court (Picture: Johnny Green/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A loan shark who received £325,000 in repayments has been jailed for four months.

Sijo Mannamcheril Sebastian was sentenced on Friday having previously pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal money lending between July 1, 2009 and April 19, 2016.

Southend Crown Court heard how warrants were executed at Sebastian’s home address in Raphaels, Basildon, and his business premises in High Street North, East Ham, in April 2016.

The latter saw a computer recovered which contained a number of documents which illustrated aspects of the 39-year-old’s illegal enterprise.

The court heard how Sebastian was charging an APR of up to 67 per cent on loans, and had made £950 profit on a £2,500 loan.

Cllr Forhad Hussain, cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “We welcome this conviction, which sends out a clear message that criminal loan sharks will not be tolerated in this borough.”