Police have busted a child trafficking syndicate in southwest Nigeria where women are kidnapped, impregnated and their babies sold. Four children and four pregnant women were among those freed.
Police in Nigeria have rescued 10 people, including four children, four pregnant women and two other women from an illegal maternity home, a spokesman said Wednesday.
The operation was carried out at the so-called “baby factory” in the Mowe area of the southwestern Ogun state on Tuesday.
“Acting on a tip-off, our men stormed the illegal maternity home and rescued 10 people, including four kids and six women, four of whom are pregnant,” police spokesman Abimbola Oyeyemi told the AFP news agency.
He said the women told police that the owner hired men to impregnate them and then sell the newborns for profit.
The “factories” are usually small illegal facilities parading as private medical clinics that house pregnant women and offer their babies for sale.
In some cases, young women have been held against their will and raped before their babies are sold on the black market.
Oyeyemi said two suspects, a physically challenged man and the daughter of the owner of the clinic, were arrested.
“The operator of the center is on the run but we are intensifying efforts to arrest her and bring her to justice,” he said.
Oyeyemi said the operator had been previously arrested for the same offense, Daily Trust reports.
“She had been standing trial for human trafficking after her arrest early this year but she was on bail when she went back to her usual business.”
Police raids on illegal maternity units are relatively common in Nigeria, especially in the south.
mo/sm (AFP, Daily Trust)