THREE suspected loan sharks have been arrested in a series of raids.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team worked with Durham Constabulary and Durham County Council during the operation in Seaham.
Yesterday, the agencies swooped at three properties, arresting two women, aged 38 and 59, and a man, aged 41.
Cash and documentation was discovered during the search, and all three suspects were taken into custody for questioning.
The team is now appealing for information from anyone who believes they may have borrowed from an illegal money lender to assist the investigation.
The head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team has also pledged to continue to battle the “despicable crime”.
Jacqui Kennedy, who oversees the team, said: “Illegal money lending is a despicable crime which bleeds communities dry. In many cases, loan sharks profiteer at the expense of their borrowers, and resort to the most extreme methods to enforce repayment.”
Anyone with information about illegal money lending should call the team’s 24/7 hotline on 0300 555 2222.