Loan shark preyed on Newham’s Sri Lankan community
Ledger showed eight years of deals worth over �1m
An illegal money lender to Newham’s Sri Lankan community has been convicted of loan sharking.
A ledger of recovered from Kanadasaba Nadarajah’s home in East Ham detailed almost 800 deals involving around �1.3million worth of loans over an eight year period.
A quantity of jewellery which he had taken as security was recovered.
The 68-year-old was convicted of Illegal Money Lending following a trial at Inner London Crown Court,
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Nadarajah was investigated and prosecuted by the London Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team, working with Town Hall and police specialists.
In April last year the team swooped on Nadarajah’s home in Keppel Road and arrested him after documentation detailing amounts, names, dates and payments was found.
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Nadarajah lent to members of the Sri Lankan community throughout Newham. One victim was offered a loan when he was struggling to pay his mortgage, as long as he provided some jewellery.
Nadarajah charged interest each month until the principal loan could be repaid. As the victim was a property landlord, the payments were deducted from the income he received from a letting agent for the rental of his property. When the landlord decided to use another letting agent, Nadarajah withheld money owed and said he would sell the jewellery.
Nadarajah will be sentenced on April 13. A further financial investigation is underway looking into the proceeds of his crime.
Cllr Unmesh Desai, cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “Loan sharks feed on the most vulnerable people and often use threats and violence to ensure their extortionate loans are paid back. They operate outside the law, are unlicensed and their loans are often on bad terms with outrageous interest rates.”
* To report a loan shark: Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003; E-mail email@example.com of log-on to www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks