A suspected loan shark has been arrested following a police operation near Bradford city centre.

The man, who was taken into custody on Wednesday morning (March 29), is suspected to be involved in illegal money lending and money laundering offences.

The operation was run by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with West Yorkshire Police.

Officers executed a warrant at an address near the city centre.  

The force seized a quantity of cash and an electronic device during a search of the property.

The suspect remains in custody for further questioning.  

The IMLT teams up with West Yorkshire Joint Services Trading Standards to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.

Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT said: “Illegal money lending will not be tolerated and we will continue to work with our partners to take action against those who blight our communities in this way.

“If you have been offered a cash loan, threatened when you couldn’t pay, had your bank card taken from you as security or if what you owe keeps growing even though you are making payments, then you may well have been bitten by a loan shark. 

"If you, or anyone you know, has experienced any of these things or has any knowledge of loan shark activities then contact our team in complete confidence. We will help you escape the clutches of these ruthless criminals.”

Linda Davis, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Manager said “The work of the Illegal Money Lending Team is critical in protecting vulnerable people in local communities, even more so during a time of widespread economic uncertainty where increased financial insecurities create greater opportunities for loan shark activities. 

“We welcome the Team’s work across West Yorkshire, protecting our communities and supporting victims of illegal money lending.”

In the report, Swimming with Sharks, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) reveals that there could be up to 1.08 million people in debt to loan sharks in England, with some demanding sexual favours as repayment from borrowers.

Warning signs of loan sharks

  • Giving you no paperwork or agreement on a loan 
  • Refusing to give you information about the loan 
  • Keeping items until the debt is paid such as your bank card or passport
  • Taking things from you if you don't pay on time 
  • Adding more interest or charges so the debt never goes down 
  • Using intimidation or violence if you don't pay

How to report loan sharks 

Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk 

Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.