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Scottish project heads crackdown on loan sharks

Scotland's pioneering attack on loan sharks has been paying off, new reports reveal. The Glasgow project has been so successful that it will be receiving extra funding from the government. Consumer minister Ian McCartney praised the team of investigators, which has already put three illegal lenders behind bars and closed down loan books to the value of almost a quarter of a million pounds. Five hundred of Scotland's poorest citizens have benefited from the crackdown so far. Mr McCartney said: "I am glad that we have been able to ensure that this pilot scheme has the funding to continue hunting loan sharks. My message to the sharks is simple: we are coming for you, we are going to shut you down and we will prosecute you. The loan shark team is doing a great job. "Loan sharks are quite simply scum, they exploit vulnerable people using violence to intimidate them into paying their extortionate rates." The pilot scheme in Glasgow, which has seized £500,000 worth of assets from loan sharks in the city since its foundation in September 2004, is setting an example for the rest of Britain. Mr McCartney commented: "We will look at the lessons learned and provide more money so that more teams can operate where they are needed across the UK."

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