Just like governments and banks there is another class of ne’er-do-wells preying on the poor and vulnerable in our society.

The only difference is this class of criminal does not have the total support of the law of the land.

I write of course about illegal money lenders. Those that draw the desperate into a web of debt from which they can never escape, by design, to line the lenders’ pockets and fund a very rewarding lifestyle.

There have been disturbing cases of illegal money lending coming to light recently.

There was the hairdresser, Brian Derwent, who charged 100% interest on cash loans to schoolchildren and housewives and kept their playstations and bank cards as security.

But a really evil type has just been ordered by the courts to repay £1.2 million to his ‘customers’. Last year John Kiely 36, aka ‘Johnny Boy Kiely’ was convicted of blackmail and money laundering. He also had ‘enforcers’ working for him. It is assessed that he made somewhere in the region of £3.6 million between May 2003 and December 2007. He also bought a house worth over £800,000 for cash.

On conviction in August 2009 he was given 5 years inside and the financial investigators were put on his case. If he now fails to stump up the £1.2 million he will face an extra 5 years inside.

But what really amazes me is that this character had an OFT licence despite not telling them he had a criminal record and also changing the address of his operations.

It is thought that there are about 100,000 families repaying debt to loan sharks with interest rates at up to 1,500%. The average loan is about £300 but those concerned will be paying many times that amount back.

Before the righteous amongst you bleat about it being their own stupidity, look at what the government and banks are doing to you! These people possibly had no other recourse to put food on the table and with tightening credit and taxes expected to rise, this problem will only get worse.

Let’s hope we see a lot more of these blood-suckers put inside and forced to lose their homes to repay their victims.

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