Preyed on Ugandan Victims
A loan shark who preyed on victims in London has been sentenced at Derby Crown Court. Moses Nyonjo of Scarborough Rise, Derby, who was acting as M-Jo Finance pleaded guilty to illegal money lending. On Monday 27th September he received an 8 month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, along with orders to do 100 hours of unpaid work and a curfew of 10pm to 6am for 4 months.
His accomplice Julin Katumba from Hounslow, Middlesex received an order to do 60 hours of unpaid work, after she was convicted of acting as an illegal broker for Nyonjo.
Nyonjo operated an illegal money lending business, based in Derby from September 2006 until August 2009 when he was arrested in London by the Trading Standards East Midlands Illegal Money Lending Unit as part of a joint operation with Hounslow Trading Standards and the London loan shark team.
More than 70% of his customers lived in London; mostly in Hounslow Borough and the surrounding areas. The London Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team worked with the East Midlands Unit to support these victims.
Nyonjo offered loans to over 200 ‘customers’ across 10 London Boroughs, Derby, Leicester and Scotland. Many of whom were from Ugandan communities.
Nyonjo printed “credit agreements” to convince his victims, he was a legal lender. As security on the loans, he would often confiscate passports and vehicle log books.
In one instance, Nyonjo tried to repossess a vehicle for non payment of the loan. However the victim contacted the Illegal Money Lending Unit and he was subsequently investigated and prosecuted.
Cllr Ed Mayne, Hounslow Council’s lead member for community safety and enforcement said: “We are delighted that these illegal unscrupulous money lenders have been brought to justice. Loan sharks have a hugely detrimental impact on local communities, and in this instance have tainted the lives of many across all areas of the UK, including Hounslow. We highly commend the work undertaken by the London Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team, working in conjunction with our trading standards officers to eliminate these lenders.”
Consumer Minister Edward Davey Said “"I'd like to thank the East Midlands and London illegal money lending teams for their work on this case. Loan sharks are criminals- they are a blight on our communities and need to be brought to justice."
Nationally the Stop Loan Sharks Project has secured over 80 years worth of prison sentences for illegal money lending and related offences, so far. 14,500 victims have been helped and £25million worth of illegal debt has been written off. The teams have also seized and confiscated £2.5million in cash.
The London Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team would urge anyone with any information relating to unlicensed lending to contact them in confidence.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
Log-on to www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks
October 14, 2010