Messages found on the phones of two men after their sudden deaths suggested they were being followed to repay their comrades. It is feared that the cost of living crisis will aggravate the situation
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Defense chiefs are investigating illegal money-lending among soldiers – after at least two died while being chased by comrades for repayments.
Messages found on the phones of two men after their sudden deaths suggested they were being followed to repay their comrades.
One veteran activist said low-wage young fathers are turning to loan sharks to make ends meet.
Former Royal Marine Sergeant Major Jeff Williams warned that many are unaware of the huge interest rates.
In March, an Irish Guardsman was found dead in a suspected suicide in Lincoln. Military police found WhatsApp messages on his phone demanding payment of money he had borrowed.
Details emerged after six members of the Irish Guards were arrested along with a veteran on drug, moneylending and money laundering offences.
Also in 2020, a soldier from another regiment who took his own life is said to have borrowed from colleagues. Mobile messages suggested he had been threatened.
Jeff Williams of Veterans United Against Suicide said: “We are aware of many instances of this happening.
“At least two soldiers have taken their own lives after going into debt with army moneylenders.
“The cost of living crisis will only make things worse for young soldiers. This is an issue that needs urgent action.”
The Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the loan shark claims.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/soldiers-fall-victims-loan-sharks-27146620 Soldiers fall prey to loan sharks as veterans' charity calls for urgent action