A 61-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offenses.
England’s Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) – in partnership with Bedford Borough Council Trading Standards and Bedfordshire Police – executed a warrant at a house in Kempston on Wednesday 1 December.
Officers seized a large quantity of documents and electronic devices.
The suspect has been taken into custody for questioning and has since been released under investigation while the investigation continues.
Tony Quigley, Head of IMLT, said: “We are committed to warning residents of the dangers of loan sharks, and we will work with partners to take action against them.
“Loan 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 these activities in Bedfordshire and urge anyone with information on loan sharks to report them as soon as possible.”
Families in Bedford are urged not to look to predatory loan sharks to cover the cost of Christmas this year.
IMLT urges people to watch out for these warning signs when dealing with loan sharks:
Do not give you any document or agreement on a loan
Refuse to give you loan information
Keep objects until payment of the debt such as your bank card or passport
Take things from you if you don’t pay on time
Add more interest or fees so the debt never goes down
Use bullying or violence if you don’t pay
Anyone with concerns should confidently call the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 helpline on 0300 555 2222 or visit here