A man and woman were arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering, following an operation in Milton Keynes.
Documentation and electronic devices were also seized after a warrant was executed at a residential property in Emerson Valley on Tuesday (15 September).
A 37-year-old woman and 44-year-old man were taken into custody as part of the operation, carried out by the England Illegal Money Lending Team in partnership with Milton Keynes Council Trading Standards and Thames Valley Police. They have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks prey on vulnerable people by charging extortionate interest rates then often harassing and intimidating their victims for repayments.
“There are other legitimate options available to people who are experiencing financial problems and help is available from the Swan Community Bank to obtain affordable credit without turning to loan sharks.
“I am urging anyone who has been a victim of this crime, or thinks they have been targeted by loan sharks, to get in contact with us. We can help you access specialist services and provide emotional and practical support.”
Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Lauren Townsend said: “Borrowing money from loan sharks can put people at serious risk. I’m glad that we’re making progress to catch and drive out those who target vulnerable people and subject them to cruel repayment methods. I’d encourage anyone who is a victim to get in touch with us as early as possible.”
Anyone who believes they might be a victim of a loan shark can contact the 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222 or complete an online report form here. Live Chat is also available on the homepage from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.