A man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending, money laundering and unlawful possession of identification documents, following an operation in Burton-on-Trent.
Cash, documentation and electronic devices were seized following raids on two properties in the town this morning (23rd July).
Officers also recovered a large quantity of passports and European identity cards during searches of both addresses.
A 34 year-old man is currently being questioned in custody as part of the investigation by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards and Staffordshire Police.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Illegal money lenders prey on communities and rip-off vulnerable individuals.
“We are currently going through the seized documentation to identify the owners of the passports and identity cards; however we would appeal for anyone who has any information or may be involved to get in touch with us.”
Staffordshire County Council’s Communities Leader Gill Heath, said: “Staffordshire County Council is determined to stamp out loan sharking, which brings misery and financial ruin to people’s lives.
“Our Trading Standards team will continue to work with the Illegal Money Lending Team to drive out these criminals and protect vulnerable residents.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 394 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 480 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £74.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 29,000 people.
To report a loan shark, call the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222, text a report to 078600 22116 or complete a secure form here.