Loan shark who targeted Newham’s Sri Lankans is jailed
A man convicted of illegal money lending among Newham’s Sri Lankan community has been jailed for eight months.
Kanadasaba Nadarajah, 68, was arrested in April last when his home in Keppel Road, East Ham, was raided.
During the search a quantity of jewellery, identified by victims who had handed this over ‘as security’ on loans, was seized.
Documentation outlining names and amounts were also discovered with one ledger book detailing almost 800 loans, indicating that approximately �1.3million worth of loans had been given out illegally, over an eight year period.
Another diary with many of his ‘customers’ borrowing cash for small businesses.
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One victim believed he paid between �30,000 and �40,000 in interest, after taking out a loan with Nadarajah.
Inner London Crown Court heard of one victim was offered a loan when he was struggling to pay his mortgage, as long as he provided some jewellery.
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The illegal money lender 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.
When sentencing His Honour Judge Bishop spoke of how vulnerable and poor people were “burdened by interest payments they cannot afford.”
The London Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team, working in partnership with Newham Council and the Metropolitan Police Service Territorial Police Payback unit, are carrying out a further financial investigation looking into the proceeds of Nadarajah’s crime.
Cllr Unmesh Desai, Newham Council’s cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “He was targeting vulnerable people in the Sri Lankan community, using threats and violence to ensure that his corrupt loans where paid back.
“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.”
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 or Log-on to www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks