A man and woman have been arrested today on suspicion of loan sharking after an operation in Hartlepool by a national organisation.
A 38 year-old woman and a 65 year-old man were arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering in raids on two town addresses this morning by the national Illegal Money Lending Team.
They can cause untold misery to the most disadvantaged in our communitiesNational Money Lending Team
They were supported by Cleveland Police and Hartlepool Borough Council’s Trading Standards Department.
A number of documents, electronic devices, and a quantity of cash was seized.
The suspects are currently in custody and are being questioned by Illegal Money Lending Team officers.
They will look into evidence to determine how many potential victims and how much money may be involved.
Tony Quigley, head of service for the 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.”
Trading Standards officers also seized suspected counterfeit goods at one of the addressed.
A Hartlepool council spokesman added: “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.”
The Illegal Money Lending Team has secured more than 370 prosecutions for loan sharking and related activity nationally, leading to prison sentences totalling nearly 318 years.
They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.