Families struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living are being warned of the dangers of loan sharks.
The warning comes after a man was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences following an operation in Middlesbrough on Wednesday (10th May).
Officers from the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), accompanied by Officers from Cleveland Police executed search warrants at a residential address. An electronic device was seized during a search of the property.
The IMLT also works in partnership with Middlesbrough Council Trading Standards to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.
A 21-year-old man was taken into custody and is currently being interviewed by IMLT investigators.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said: “We are committed to working with our partners to clamp down on illegal lenders and their exploitative practices.
“At a time when families are under extreme pressure with mounting living costs, we are deeply concerned that those who are already struggling to make ends meet could be targeted by these predatory lenders.
“If you think you may have been targeted by a loan shark or if you are worried about someone close to you, our helpline is available 24 hours a day on 0300 555 2222 for confidential advice and support.”