A SUSPECTED loan shark has been arrested following an operation in Widnes.

A 43-year-old man was taken into custody after a warrant was executed at his home in Widnes.

It follows a joint operation between The England Illegal Money Lending Team working in partnership with Halton Council and Warrington Council.

The man was questioned by officers from the team and released on bail until Wednesday, June 11, whilst further enquiries are carried out.

Halton Clr Dave Cargill, board member for consumer protection, said: "Illegal money-lending destroys communities just as it destroys its victims' lives.

“We welcome this action and would encourage anyone with any information about similar operations to contact the Illegal Money Lending Team."

Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 190 years worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £42 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 23,000 victims.

To report a loan shark, call the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222, text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003 or e-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk.

You can also private message facebook.com/stoploansharksproject