A borough woman was arrested as part of a loan sharks police operation after a raid yesterday morning, Wednesday. 

The raid took place at a Whitefield address and was carried out by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT).

A 46-year-old woman from Whitefield was taken into custody on suspicion of illegal money lending.

Officers also carried out searches at a business address in Hyde, Tameside 

They seized electronic devices and paperwork and the suspect was taken into custody and questioned by IMLT investigators.

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The IMLT works in partnership with Bury and Tameside Trading Standards services to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.

Tony Quigley, head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Illegal money lending will not be tolerated in England, 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 have been targeted by an illegal lender.

"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.”

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There are up to 1.08m people in debt to loan sharks in England, according to figures from the Centre for Social Justice.

The warning signs of an illegal lender include:

• 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.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the IMLT.

Since its launch, the team has supported more than 31,500 people and written off over £91.2m worth of illegal debt, securing in excess of 416 prosecutions for illegal money lending, leading to 598 years in jail.

Anyone who has been affected by illegal money lending should call the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.

Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.