Two suspected loan sharks have been arrested in Liverpool.
The women, aged 32 and 33, were taken into police custody on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offenses following an operation in Liverpool.
England’s Illegal Money Lending Team worked in partnership with Liverpool City Council Trading Standards and Merseyside Police to execute warrants at two properties in Croxteth and Norris Green on Wednesday February 2.
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After searching for addresses, offices found and seized documents and electronic devices.
Both suspects were questioned by specialist offers and have since been released, pending further investigation.
Tony Quigley, Illegal Money Lending Team Leader, said: “We are committed to warning residents of the dangers of loan sharks, and will work with partners to take action against them.
“Sharpeners are criminals who prey on the most vulnerable people in our communities. They trap their victims in a spiral of debt and often resort to intimidation and violence.
“We will not tolerate such activity on Merseyside and urge anyone with information about loan sharks to report it as soon as possible.”
Liverpool Cabinet Member for Wards Councilor Abdul Qadir said: “Sharpening is a scourge on our communities, and I would like to commend the teams involved for their hard work and commitment to tackling this crime.
“The actions of these individuals can ruin lives, and we will continue to work with partners to ensure vulnerable residents are not victimized by these unlicensed and unscrupulous money lenders.”
Anyone concerned about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access online support at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live chat is available on the website between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.