Pregnant Girls Rescued from Nigeria ‘Baby Factory’
Nigerian police raided an illegal maternity home in Rivers state, rescuing six pregnant girls and arresting a woman accused of keeping them there.
Agence France-Presse reports the raid occurred last week in Port Harcourt.
“We rescued six girls last week at different stages of pregnancy from an illegal maternity home,” Imo State Police spokeswoman Joy Elomoko told AFP. Elomoko said the youngest victim was 14 years old. She did not provide the ages of the other freed girls.
“We have also arrested the proprietress of the clinic and she is assisting us in our investigation,” Elomoko added.
The Port Harcourt liberation occurred after a girl was arrested with a baby in Owerri in neighboring Imo state on October 15.
“A lady was found in suspicious circumstances with a day-old baby and after interrogation she confessed that she gave birth to a baby in Port Harcourt,” Elomoko said.
Detectives followed the woman to the ‘baby factory.’
“The woman (in charge) could not produce any document authorizing her to operate the clinic and she was subsequently arrested,” Elomoko said, adding that the rescued girls told police that they were being kept there to make babies who would be sold after birth.
Nigerian police have busted a number of ‘baby factories,’ mostly in the southeastern part of the country, in recent years. Baby boys can fetch up to $250 on the black market; girls generally cost slightly less. In a nation where the majority of the population earns less than $2 a day, and where according to the United Nations, human trafficking is the third most common crime, the selling of babies is a widespread and lucrative practice. Babies are sold for adoption, as well as for the horrific practice of human sacrifice in witchcraft rituals.
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