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Loan shark netted by trading standards

PUBLISHED: 18:01 14 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 24 August 2010

AN LOAN shark who targeted cash-strapped Filipinos and kept their passports as security has been fined in court. Remedios Cartas, of Campden Hill Square, Notting Hill, charged her vulnerable clients up to 60 per cent for loans ranging from £700 to £1,500.

AN LOAN shark who targeted cash-strapped Filipinos and kept their passports as security has been fined in court.

Remedios Cartas, of Campden Hill Square, Notting Hill, charged her vulnerable clients up to 60 per cent for loans ranging from £700 to £1,500.

West London Magistrates' Court heard the 41-year-old housekeeper lent money to more than 100 people who were low-earning domestic workers during a three-year period.

She even took the passports from her 'clients' who were predominately in Willesden Green, Hampstead, St John's Wood and Cricklewood, so they did not flee the country without paying her back.

She was snared after London Trading Standards illegal money lending team launched an investigation into her 'business' and discovered she was an unlicensed lender.

Cartas admitted illegal lending and possessing other people's passports.

She was fined £1,300 and ordered to pay costs of £2,425.

Peter Richardson, manager of the illegal money lending team, said: "There is a myth that people like Mrs Cartas are providing a community service, but this is not the case.

"A genuine credit provider will be licensed, provide proper paperwork and repayment plans and will not take passports for 'security.'

"I am very pleased for those in the London Filipino community who have been brave enough to come forward and work with us.

"As well as prosecuting loan sharks, the illegal money lending team can help people find alternative sources of credit and get help to start savings and regain control of their finances."

Cllr Julie Mills, from Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: "I want to warn our residents not to borrow money from these sources and to report any loan sharks to Trading Standards.

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