A man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Keighley.
Electronic devices were also seized after warrants were executed at two residential properties on Tuesday, 7th October.
A 64-year-old man was taken into custody as part of the operation carried out by the England Illegal Money Lending Team in partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and West Yorkshire Police. He has since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks are a scourge on society and cause harm and misery to their victims, but we are continuing to tackle them in Keighley and across the country.
“We would urge anyone aware of any illegal money lending activity to call us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 so we can take action. Our lines are open 24/7 and callers can remain anonymous.”
The IMLT have launched a new smartphone app to make it quicker and easier for people to report loan sharks and access support services.
The Stop Loan Sharks app, which launched last week, includes a contact form and phone number to report loan sharks, as well as information to help victims of illegal money lending to get support.
It also offers users advice on the tell-tale signs that someone is a loan shark. These include offering cash loans without any paperwork, charging extortionate interest, use of benefit or bank cards as security, and threatening behaviour or violence to get money.
The IMLT have secured more than 400 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to 586 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £83 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 30,000 people.
To report a loan shark call the 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete an online form at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.