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Written Answers - Illegal Money Lenders

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 445.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  his plans to tackle illegal money lending (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16844/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Offences relating to illegal moneylending are currently provided for in Part VIII of the Consumer Credit Act 1995.

Persons who engage in moneylending and who do not hold the necessary licence granted by the Central Bank are committing an offence under section 98 of the Act, which provides for a prohibition on engaging in the business of moneylending without a licence.

A person who is guilty of an offence under the Act is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.

[888]The powers of An Garda Síochána in tackling illegal moneylending are principally contained in sections 105 to 109 of the Act, which make provision for a number of matters including Garda powers of entry and arrest.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that where offences under section 98 are disclosed, and are reported to An Garda Síochána, the matters will be the subject of investigation under the direction of the local District Officer, with relevant expert assistance available from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

I would therefore encourage those who may have information concerning the operation of unlicensed moneylenders in particular circumstances to make that information available to An Garda Síochána who will take all measures open to them to enforce the law in this area.


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