Four people have been arrested in Leeds as part of a crackdown on illegal money lending in the city.
The suspects were picked up in a series of raids on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Officers from the national Illegal Money Lending Team and West Yorkshire Police arrested two women and two men on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering.
On Tuesday November 12 there were three raids in Alwoodley, Guiseley and Kirkstall and three people were arrested.
Two women aged 46 and 49 years-old were arrested alongside a 49 year-old man on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering.
Documentation, electronic devices and a large quantity of cash were seized. The suspects have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
The team executed more warrants in Hunslet and the Leeds Dock area on Wednesday, November 14.
A 37 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending, money laundering and fraud. Officers seized documentation and mobile phones.
Police have said that the investigation continues and enquiries are still on-going.
Tony Quigley, head of the national Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “The IMLT will take action against those who choose to flout the law and lend money illegally. We will continue to work with our key partners to eradicate illegal money lenders from communities and we urge victims of loan sharks to contact us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 and help us bring unscrupulous
lenders to justice.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for communities said: “We are continuing to work extremely hard in Leeds with the Illegal Money Lending Team, the police and partners to crack down on those individuals involved in this type of activity, which makes the lives of so many people a misery.
“Our message to anyone who is a victim of loan sharks is that they are not alone and to please not suffer in silence. Here in Leeds, we are able to offer a range of better and alternative forms of lending to those offered by unscrupulous loan sharks, and we would urge people to please contact us for more details on what they are.”
The Illegal Money Lending Team has prosecuted hundreds of loan sharks, helping 28,000 escape millions of pounds worth of illegal debt.