01:41 GMT29 September 2020
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    Thousands UK law enforcement officers have been empowered to combat modern slavery at sea, according to a corresponding amendment which has came into force today.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UK Officers of Border Force, police and the National Crime Agency have been empowered to join the fight against modern slavery at sea through the amendments to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, UK government said in a statement Monday.

    "Thousands of law enforcement officers across the United Kingdom will be empowered to join the fight against modern slavery at sea using new powers in the Modern Slavery Act which come into force today [8 August 2016]," the statement read.

    The freshly granted powers include the authority "to board and search vessels, seize evidence and arrest offenders, where it is suspected that modern slavery is taking place… to intercept vessels with reasonable grounds, arrest offenders and rescue victims from ships in UK waters."

    Other amendments include life-long sentences for the slavery-related crimes.

    On July 31, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced the creation of a new task force to coordinate the combat against modern slavery and human trafficking with law enforcement agencies across the world.

    The UK Home Office’s 2014 analysis indicated that between 10,000 and 13,000 people in the United Kingdom were victims of modern slavery, including factory workers, domestic staff, and those forced into prostitution. The Modern Slavery Strategy issued on November 29, 2014 by the UK Home Office revealed that the potential victims of modern slavery were trafficked from over 100 countries, with the five most common countries of origin being Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and the United Kingdom.


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