Illegal Money lending or ‘loan sharking’ is the practice of providing monetary loans to members of the public outside of the main financial regulatory framework. It is a hidden practice, both because of the sense of shame often experienced by members of the public who are in financial difficulties but also because of the common practices of violence and intimidation that are employed by those involved in it. In Northern Ireland, evidence suggests that illegal money lending is carried out by a range of organised crime gangs including those affiliated with Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups, Eastern European communities, and even Chinese Snakehead gangs. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with a range of community, citizen advocacy and law enforcement groups, this paper examines the extent of the problem and considers the impact of illegal money lending on local communities. Of particular note are efforts to prevent the use of illegal money lending including the difficulties faced in responding appropriately to a complex problem which is often linked to wider societal issues such as the illegal drugs trade, gambling addiction and consumer debt.
|Title of host publication||University of Gloucestershire|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 15 Jul 2020|