'Loan shark made £500,000 from Sri Lankan community in London' - court told
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Bill Payments, Communities
'Loan shark made £500,000 from Sri Lankan community in London'
A loan shark running an unlawful money lending business made more than half a million pounds in illegal interest payments, a court heard.
Kanadasaba Nadarajah offered hundreds of loans to members of the Sri Lankan community living in London and the South East despite not being legally registered to do so.
Inner London Crown Court heard that Mr Nadarajah, 68, from East Ham, London, had offered more than 700 illegal loans totalling more than £1.7m between 2003 and 2010.
Vivian Walters, prosecuting, said Mr Nadarajah would demand family jewellery from loanees as security which he would then sell if they failed to pay off the interest demanded.
Mr Nadarajah was aided by accomplice Veluppillai Jegendirabose, 62, from Ilford, Essex, who helped organise one of the loans.
Miss Walters explained: "Loan sharks are those who operate businesses who lend money to people without a credit licence.
"Loan sharks prey on some of the most vulnerable people in society. The prosecution case is that Mr Nadarajah has been operating as a loan shark for many years."
The court heard that people would go to Mr Nadarajah when they were in dire straits, one man asked for a loan after falling into arrears on his mortgage, another woman asked for cash so she could return to Sri Lanka for her father's funeral.
Miss Walters added: "Mr Nadarajah was taking security for a lot of the loans in the form of jewellery.
"The majority if not the totality of borrowers are members of the Sri Lankan community whose only form of asset is family jewellery.
"It is also clear that in some of the cases he was charging interest on many if not all of the loans."
The loan shark business was discovered after loanee Janaka Mohan complained to the London Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) about how the loan was being conducted.
Mr Mohan's £5,000 loan had been set up by Jegendirabose, who had told him to supply family jewels as security, it was alleged.
The loanee was told he must pay £150 interest on the loan each month.
Police and the IMLT swooped on Nadarajah's home last April where they discovered details of hundreds of other illegal loans and large quantities of jewellery.
Nadarajah is accused of one count of illegal money lending and one count of acquiring criminal property.
Jegendirabose is charged with one count of illegal money lending.
Both men deny the charges.
The case was adjourned until tomorrow.