A ‘baby factory’ where men were hired to impregnate woman before their newborns were sold was raided by police on Tuesday, with ten victims rescued.
Police rescued four children and six women – four of whom were pregnant – from the illegal maternity home, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The operation was being carried out at a so-called ‘baby factory’ in the southwestern Ogun state by a woman already standing trial for human trafficking.
‘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 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 in the raid.
”The operator of the centre 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 offence.
‘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.
Last year, nineteen pregnant women – aged between 15 and 28 – and four children were rescued from another suspected baby factory in Nigeria.
Reports also indicated majority of the women were tricked into leaving their home villages with promises of domestic work in Lagos before being forced into pregnancy, police said, while a few of the women joined the syndicate voluntarily believing they would be paid.
They never were, according to reports last year.