Two women have been questioned over allegations of illegal money lending and money laundering in Mansfield.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team, working in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards and Nottinghamshire Police, executed warrants at two residential addresses in the town on Tuesday, November 12.
Officers seized large quantities of cash, documentation and electronic devices during the searches.
A 63-year-old woman was taken into custody as part of the operation and later released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Another woman, aged 66, was voluntarily interviewed as part of enquiries and remains under investigation.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said: “We are in the early stages of our investigation and enquiries are ongoing. Our advice to residents in need of financial support would be to turn to Nottingham Credit Union rather than a loan shark who could take advantage and charge extortionate interest rates.”
An estimated 310,000 households nationally are borrowing from illegal money lenders, many of whom charge exorbitant rates of interest to trap people into a spiral of debt.
Sergeant Andrew Doran, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Nottinghamshire Police takes illegal money lending extremely seriously and we will always thoroughly investigate any reports made to us. I would encourage anyone who thinks they have become involved with a loan shark to report their concerns to the police or the illegal money lending team hotline.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 394 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 480 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £74.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 29,000 people.
Anyone who has been the victim of a loan shark, or knows of someone who has, can contact the Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence on 0300 555 2222. Lines are open 24/7 and callers can remain anonymous.