A 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences, possession with intent to supply and firearms offences following an operation in Gloucester.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from Gloucestershire Police and the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit to execute a warrant at two addresses in the Lydney area on Wednesday 24th May 2023. Officers seized loan documentation, an electronic device, an amount of cash and what is believed to be a firearm and a quantity of suspected drugs during a search of the property.
The suspect was taken into custody and is currently being questioned by investigators.
The IMLT works in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council Trading Standards to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said: “Illegal money lending will not be tolerated and we will continue to work with our partners to take action against those who blight our communities in this way.
“If you have been offered a cash loan, threatened when you couldn’t pay, had your bank card taken from you as security or if what you owe keeps growing even though you are making payments, then you may well have been bitten by a loan shark.
“If you, or anyone you know, has experienced any of these things or has any knowledge of loan shark activities then contact our team in complete confidence. We will help you escape the clutches of these ruthless criminals.”
In a recent report, Swimming with Sharks, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) reveals that there could be up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England, with some demanding sexual favours as repayment from borrowers.