A 47 year-old woman and 65 year-old man were arrested on Tuesday (24 April 2018) on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Leeds.
The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police executed a warrant at a residential address in Morley, seizing documentation, electronic devices and a quantity of cash.
The male suspect was also further arrested for malicious communications.
The suspects were questioned by IMLT officers and later released under investigation.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“Loan sharks prey on some of the most vulnerable members in our society and so it’s vitally important we work with key organisations to combat illegal money lending and protect residents.
“This operation sends out a clear message to all those involved in this type of criminal activity that we will not tolerate loan sharks in Leeds. We urge residents who have fallen victim to this crime to contact us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 and help us bring these unscrupulous lenders to justice.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said:
“Loan sharks often and deliberately prey on the most vulnerable in our society, and we work with the Illegal Money Lending Team, trading standards and the police, to take action against those people involved in this type of unscrupulous behaviour.
“We would like to reassure victims they are not alone and that a wide range of help and support is available in Leeds to anyone affected by a loan shark.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 382 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 329 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £73.7 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 28,000 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