Officers investigating allegations of illegal money lending and money laundering are calling on victims to come forward.
The appeal comes after the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), in partnership with the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and West Yorkshire Police, executed warrants at two properties in Huddersfield last month .
Officers seized money and documents during property searches on June 29, and the suspects were released under investigation.
Agents are eager to speak with anyone who may have had a loan or who has information that can help them.
Anyone who has had a loan has done nothing wrong, the police add.
Some signs of illegal money lending, according to agents, include:
- A cash loan or an undocumented bank transfer, such as a credit agreement or payment statement.
- The lender refuses to give information about the loan, such as the interest rate or how much you owe.
- You are obliged to hand over your bank card and your personal effects as a “pledge” of the loan.
- Debt that keeps growing even as you make payments.
- You borrowed from someone you thought was a friend.
- The lender got “mean” and threatened you when you couldn’t pay.
Tony Quigley, head of the illegal money lending team in England, said: “Our investigation is still in its early stages, but we urge anyone who may have information about the lending activity of illegal money in the area to come forward.
“Even the smallest information can be crucial to our investigation and we can provide support to those affected.
“Our advice to residents is not to use a loan shark to borrow money, even if you think they are a friend – they usually start out as friendly, but take a lot of money away from vulnerable people.
“We have provided expert support to over 30,000 people and helped them get their lives back on track.
“If you’ve been affected by illegal loans or are concerned that someone you know will be targeted, our hotline is available 24/7 on 0300 555 2222, and you can chat live with us at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. ”