A 47-year-old suspected loan shark has been arrested following a raid in Northampton.
England’s Illegal Money Lending Specialist (IMLT) investigators working alongside West Northamptonshire Council Trading Standards and Northamptonshire Police executed a warrant at a residential address in Cliftonville on Tuesday morning (December 7) .
Officers seized money, documents and electronics during a search of the property.
A spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday morning that the woman was still in custody for questioning over illegal loans and money laundering.
Tony Quigley, Illegal Money Lending Team Leader, said: âWe are committed to warning residents of the dangers of loan sharks, and we will work with partners to take action against them.
âLoan sharks are criminals who prey on the most vulnerable people in our communities. They trap their victims in a debt spiral and often resort to intimidation and violence.
“We will not tolerate such activity in Northamptonshire and urge anyone with information on loan sharks to report it as soon as possible.”
Estimates indicate 310,000 people owe money to illegal lenders in the UK and families across the county are urged not to resort to predatory loan sharks to cover the cost of Christmas.
The IMLT launched its annual Christmas campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks and to promote the support available to victims.
The #AllIWantForChristmas campaign is taking place across the Stop lending sharks social media channels and offers tips and tricks on how to stay safe from illegal money lenders:
â Beware of loans without paper or agreement
â Lenders who refuse to provide information about the loan
â Keep objects such as a bank card or passport until the debt is paid.
â Take things from you if you don’t pay on time
â Add interest or additional charges so that debt never goes down
â Use bullying or violence if you don’t pay
Anyone concerned about illegal money lending can confidently contact the 24/7 Stop Loan Sharks helpline on 0300 555 2222 or access online support. HERE. Live chat is available on the website between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
England’s Illegal Money Lending Team was established in 2004, initially as a pilot program in Birmingham, to investigate loan sharks.
Since then he has supported more than 30,000 people and canceled more than Â£ 87million in illegal debt.