A London doctor, who ran a well-organised and profitable business from two hospitals in Harrow, has today (17th March) been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds in proceeds of crime.
Following a hearing at Harrow Crown Court, Dr Arjan Damjibhai Savani, 49, of St Paul’s Avenue in Kenton, was ordered to pay back £525,000 in proceeds of crime.
Dr Savani was given a 10 month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years back in October 2016 for running an illegal money lending business worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. He must pay the money within 3 months or face a default sentence of 5 years in prison.
Dr Savani was investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) who work in partnership with Brent Council’s Trading Standards Department and the Metropolitan Police. In December 2015, when a warrant was executed, IMLT officers seized loan records which demonstrated that the loan shark had received payments totalling £525,000.
When interviewed under caution by IMLT officers, Dr Savani admitted to issuing loans ranging from £500 to £50,000 to his customers since 2011. He said he knew he was acting illegally but was of the view that it would take too long to obtain a license which would have curtailed his money making. An examination of records held by Dr Savani revealed that victims had often had loans totalling thousands of pounds.
Between January 2011 and his arrest date in December 2015, Dr Savani, a Consultant at Central Middlesex and Northwich Park Hospitals in Harrow, ran a lucrative money lending business from his places of employment.
During an earlier hearing, Simon Mortimer, prosecuting, explained to the court how Dr Savani deliberately preyed on members of the Filipino community who also worked at the hospital over a prolonged period of time. Dr Savani knew his victims could ill afford the payments and was aware that the Filipino community places a great deal of importance on honour and the non-repayment of a debt would be shameful to the victim.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team said:
“Another loan shark has been ordered to pay back for the crime that they once committed.
“We are continuing to crack down on illegal money lending and bringing those who break the law to justice. It’s important to remember that loan sharks are only motivated by greed and should never been used.
“If you or someone you know has been a victim of a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch with IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled confidentially by one of our trained officers.”
Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, commented:
“Loan sharks prey on the most vulnerable members of our community and in these hard financial times a lot of people feel they have no option except to fall into their grasp. But the days when these criminals could expect to get away with causing misery are over and Dr Savani is just the latest loan shark who has found that illegal money lending will be tackled head on in our area.
“We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour, and will continue to work with the National Illegal Money Lending Team and other agencies to crack down on this crime, making it impossible for loan sharks to prosper.
“We have been working closely with the community to build financial resilience for residents and to expand the number of affordable and sustainable credit choices.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 370 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk