A 38 year-old woman and a 65 year-old man was arrested this morning (07/02) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering following an operation in Hartlepool.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council’s Trading Standards Department and Cleveland Police executed warrants at two home addresses seizing documentation, electronic devices, and a quantity of cash. Trading Standards officers also seized suspected counterfeit goods at one address.
The suspects are currently in custody and are being questioned by IMLT officers.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team said:
“We will continue to work to combat loan sharks. They can cause untold misery to the most disadvantaged in our communities. We would urge anyone with information about loan sharking or victims of loan sharks to contact the team on 0300 555 2222.”
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said:
“Loan sharks are a blight on local communities and the Trading Standards Team will continue to work closely with the National Illegal Money Lending Team and the Police to ensure they are identified and prosecuted.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 370 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject