FOUR more suspected loan sharks have been detained in Bacup as part of ongoing operations into illegal moneylending.

Trading standards officers have revealed they swooped on three addresses in the town following a joint operation between the England Illegal Money Lending Team and Lancashire investigators.

Last night it was confirmed that suspects aged 30, 39, 40 and 53 were being questioned and an undisclosed amount of cash had been seized.

Investigators were expecting that the four would be released pending further inquiries.

The loan shark operation is believed to have been running for a number of months.

The detentions are the latest in the area after former market trader Stephen Fossey was given a suspended prison sentence for running a bogus business across Burnley, Rossendale and Todmorden.

County councillor Janice Hanson, Lancashire’s public protection cabinet member, said: “Illegal money lending is an often hidden problem which has a terrible impact on our communities, leaving vulnerable people in financial difficulty.

"It is a crime and not something we will tolerate in Lancashire. We will continue to work closely with the Illegal Money Lending Team and local partners to combat this problem.”