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Crime

Four men fined £6,000 for ‘barbaric’ illegal foul hook fishing

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FOUR men caught using a barbaric and illegal fishing method by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) enforcement officers during patrols of the River Loughor, near Llanelli, have been fined a total of £6,000.

They each appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 16 and 17 June and pleaded guilty to the offence of foul hooking – also known as snatching – which is prohibited under Section 1 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

They were fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £10,300 to NRW for investigation costs.

The men were caught by NRW fisheries enforcement officers who were undertaking riverbank patrols of the River Loughor in summer 2021, working to address and prevent the use of foul hook fishing.

Each fish caught using the foul hooking method had been snagged on its tail, back or flank. All fishing equipment and illegally caught fish were seized by NRW and later confiscated by the court.

Alun Thomas, Senior Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said:

“Foul hook fishing is barbaric, unethical and illegal. This method of fishing is not only indiscriminate on what species or size fish that are killed, but also inflicts untold damage to unseen numbers of fish which are likely to die of their injuries soon after. This is often made worse by using deliberately tampered fishing lures.

“NRW’s Fisheries Enforcement Officers and police take these incidents seriously, as do the courts. Hopefully, the small minority of anglers considering using illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines issued by the courts.”

Romuald Krzysztof Biernacki of Dwyfor, Llanelli, was caught using the foul hooking method on 4 July 2021. He had illegally caught four mullets and six flounder fish.

Biernacki was fined £1,500 and made to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £2,500.

Hung Van Tran, travelled from his Gibson Road home in Handsworth, Birmingham, to fish on river Loughor on 25 August 2021. NRW fisheries enforcement officers discovered he had illegally caught four mullet fish using the foul hook method.

Hung Van Tran was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £1,800.

Duc Duy Tran of Brithweynydd, Tonypandy, and Tan Van Tran of Pentrebane Street, Caerphilly, were caught during another river patrol carried out by NRW fisheries enforcement officers accompanied by Dyfed-Powys Police’s Wildlife Crime Officer on 6 September 2021.

Duc Duy Tran had illegally caught 14 mullet fish and was fined £1,500. He must also pay £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Tan Van Tran had illegally caught four mullet fish. He was fined £1,500, plus £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Alun Thomas added: “We would like to thank Dyfed-Powys Police, the local community and law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities. I urge them to continue to report such activity and we will investigate.

“We would encourage anyone going fishing to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations before going.”

If you see any suspicious or illegal activity on our rivers, please report it to the NRW incident hotline 24/7 on 0300 065 3000 or via the website https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/contact-us/report-an-environmental-incident/?lang=e

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Crime

Llanelli loan shark ‘made his victims’ lives a misery’

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A LLANELLI-BASED illegal money lender “profiting from the misery and misfortune of others” was spending tens of thousands of pounds a year on flash holidays, Swansea Crown Court heard this week.

Clayton Rumbelow was running a loan shark operation from his modest council house, a property which boasted “very significant and substantial security measures” including security fencing and gates, a CCTV system, and a reinforced front door. Inside the house were thousands of pounds in cash, along with a baseball bat and air guns.

Swansea Crown Court heard Rumbelow – whose only legitimate source of income was benefits – was charging customers interest rates of 30 to 40 per cent on loans of £100, and had spent some £32,000 on holidays in just two years.

Sentencing, Judge Catherine Richards told Rumbelow he had been “profiting from the misery and misfortune of others” over a significant period of time, charging rates of interest of 30 to 40 per cent on loads of £100. She said she accepted the defendant had a gambling addiction and mental health issues, but she noted those mental health issues were not linked to the offending.

With a 15 per cent discount for his guilty plea Rumbelow was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to complete a rehabilitation course.

Lee Reynolds, prosecuting, said a search warrant was executed at Rumbelow’s council house in Llanelli in August 2019 as part of an investigation into illegal money lending. He said the property had “very significant and substantial security measures” in place including fencing and gate, a CCTV system, and a reinforced front door. A search of the house uncovered £5,000 in cash along with a baseball, two air guns, and counterfeit clothing. An examination of the defendant’s bank account showed some 600 cash deposits amounting to £162,000 – though the prosecutor said it was accepted the defendant had a gambling habit which could explain “some of the financial activity”. The court heard the defendant’s gambling habit had resulted in him losing almost £29,000 over the previous five years.

Stop The Loan Sharks Wales said after the case: “Today, Clayton Liston Rumbelow of Llwynhendy, Llanelli was sentenced to 10 months in prison for illegal money lending, suspended for one year.
“The defendant and his wife lived a lavish lifestyle that could not be accounted for through legitimate income, which included over £27,000 spent on foreign holidays.
“His bank account saw cash deposits totalling £124,308.53 from unknown sources between 2013 and 2019.
“If someone has borrowed money from a loan shark, or knows someone who has, please get in touch – the support we offer is safe and confidential, and we don’t want people to suffer in silence.”

Sarah Smith from the organisation explained: “Loan sharks target people when they are desperate and use threats and intimidation to fund a lifestyle their victims can only dream of. This was a welcome result in a difficult case as we were unable to convince any victims to come forward.

“We’re predicting that the current cost-of-living crisis will see victims of illegal money lending increase, with loan sharks taking advantage of people who find themselves in precarious financial situations. There’s been a shift over the last couple of years where the primary reason for borrowing now is to pay for everyday essentials like food and household bills.”

Llanelli loan shark ‘made his victims’ lives a misery’

A LLANELLI-BASED illegal money lender “profiting from the misery and misfortune of others” was spending tens of thousands of pounds a year on flash holidays, Swansea Crown Court heard this week.

Clayton Rumbelow was running a loan shark operation from his modest council house, a property which boasted “very significant and substantial security measures” including security fencing and gates, a CCTV system, and a reinforced front door. Inside the house were thousands of pounds in cash, along with a baseball bat and air guns.

Swansea Crown Court heard Rumbelow – whose only legitimate source of income was benefits – was charging customers interest rates of 30 to 40 per cent on loans of £100, and had spent some £32,000 on holidays in just two years.

Sentencing, Judge Catherine Richards told Rumbelow he had been “profiting from the misery and misfortune of others” over a significant period of time, charging rates of interest of 30 to 40 per cent on loads of £100. She said she accepted the defendant had a gambling addiction and mental health issues, but she noted those mental health issues were not linked to the offending.

With a 15 per cent discount for his guilty plea Rumbelow was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to complete a rehabilitation course.

Lee Reynolds, prosecuting, said a search warrant was executed at Rumbelow’s council house in Llanelli in August 2019 as part of an investigation into illegal money lending. He said the property had “very significant and substantial security measures” in place including fencing and gate, a CCTV system, and a reinforced front door. A search of the house uncovered £5,000 in cash along with a baseball, two air guns, and counterfeit clothing. An examination of the defendant’s bank account showed some 600 cash deposits amounting to £162,000 – though the prosecutor said it was accepted the defendant had a gambling habit which could explain “some of the financial activity”. The court heard the defendant’s gambling habit had resulted in him losing almost £29,000 over the previous five years.

Stop The Loan Sharks Wales said after the case: “Today, Clayton Liston Rumbelow of Llwynhendy, Llanelli was sentenced to 10 months in prison for illegal money lending, suspended for one year.
“The defendant and his wife lived a lavish lifestyle that could not be accounted for through legitimate income, which included over £27,000 spent on foreign holidays.
“His bank account saw cash deposits totalling £124,308.53 from unknown sources between 2013 and 2019.
“If someone has borrowed money from a loan shark, or knows someone who has, please get in touch – the support we offer is safe and confidential, and we don’t want people to suffer in silence.”

Sarah Smith from the organisation explained: “Loan sharks target people when they are desperate and use threats and intimidation to fund a lifestyle their victims can only dream of. This was a welcome result in a difficult case as we were unable to convince any victims to come forward.

“We’re predicting that the current cost-of-living crisis will see victims of illegal money lending increase, with loan sharks taking advantage of people who find themselves in precarious financial situations. There’s been a shift over the last couple of years where the primary reason for borrowing now is to pay for everyday essentials like food and household bills.”

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Crime

3 arrests after car hit with baseball bat in road rage attack following crash

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Dyfed Powys Police have arrested 3 men after an incident following a road traffic accident at traffic lights in Hendy near the M4 junction 48 sliproad.
The initial collision between a white Ford Transit van and a white Vauxhall Insignia took place around 3.15pm on Wednesday (12 October).

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Two men from the Transit are then reported to have damaged the white Vauxhall Insignia car with a baseball bat and threatened the occupants.

The white van then drove off in the direction of Hendy.

Three men, aged 46, 24 and 21, have been arrested on suspicion of affray, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon.

Dyfed Powys Police report that all three remain in custody.

Police are urging anyone who may have witnessed the incident or may have dash-cam footage from the area at the time to get in touch with them online, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting reference DP-20221012-217.

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Crime

Thousands in cash and drugs seized in Operation Coupland

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has seized over 100g of cocaine, 10,000 valium tablets, ecstasy tablets, cannabis and £11,600 in cash in Carmarthenshire over the past week.

As part of Operation Coupland, seven houses in the Ammanford area alone have been searched for illegal substances. This is alongside a number of warrants being carried out at addresses in and around Llanelli, where two men were arrested for possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.

During the operation, which is focussing on the Chief Constable’s priorities, a woman was also arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Others have been dealt with for cannabis possession.

T/Chief Inspector Rhys Jones said: “We’ve seen some very good results over the past week, and thanks to our officers’ work we’ve taken a huge amount of drugs out of the supply chain.

“These were destined to be dealt in our communities, causing untold amount of harm. Our work will continue to investigate those we believe were supplying these drugs

“As always, we ask anyone with information about the use or supply of illegal substances to contact us so we can investigate.”

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