Nigerian police have rescued 17 pregnant teens from what’s being called a baby factory in the southeastern part of the country.
Imo State Police revealed they are also arrested a 23-year-old man believe to have impregnated the girls. Police also rescued 11 babies and small children from the Ahamefula Motherless Babies Home, in the community of Umuaka.
BBC reports police spokeswoman Joy Elomoko saying “The girls claimed they were fed once a day and were not allowed to leave the home.”
Elomoko also told AFP their babies were going to be sold to “willing buyers.”
According to BBC, Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons said in 2011 babies can be sold for as much as US $6,400 –for illegal adoption, child labour or prostitution, or in some cases to be sacrificed for ritual purposes.
AllAfrica.com reported on Thursday all of the girls are between the ages of 14 and 17 and were at different stages in their pregnancies. At the time of the raid, at least 11 children were set to be sold, the website reported.
The alleged owner of the Ahamefula Motherless Babies Home, known as Madame One Thousand, is still at large.
Police said they received a credible tip about the home.
In the spring of 2011, Nigerian authorities saved 32 girls from another baby factory at a hospital in the city of Aba, also in the southeastern part of the country.
In October of that year, another 17 girls were taken away from another baby trafficking operation in Ihiala, Anambra state.
UNICEF said there were 757 women rescued from trafficking operations and rehabilitated, between 2004 and 2006.