19 pregnant women are freed from Nigerian ‘baby factory’ where abducted women were raped so their children could be sold for £1,000 each
- Police raided four buildings in Lagos, Nigeria, being used as a ‘baby factory’
- 19 women, all of whom were pregnant, were rescued along with four children
- Officers say male children would be sold for £1,000 and females for £700
- Two women who worked as untrained nurses at the ‘factory’ were arrested
Nineteen pregnant women and four children have been rescued from a suspected baby factory in Nigeria.
Police in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, raided four properties on Monday and discovered the women – aged between 15 and 28 – along with the infants, one of whom was just a day old, according to local reports.
Officers also arrested Happiness Ukwuoma, aged 40 and Sherifat Ipeya, 54, who are thought to have worked as untrained nurses at the factory.
Nineteen pregnant women have been rescued from a suspected baby factory in Nigeria along with four infants, one of whom was reported to be one day old
Police say a majority of the women were brought to Lagos with promises of domestic work before being abducted and forced to have children so they could be sold
However, police are still searching for the main suspected – a woman they identified as Madam Oluchi, a mother-of-five.
Investigators say the children were going to be trafficked and sold for £1,000 for a boy and £700 for a girl.
A 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.
Men then took it in turns to rape and impregnate the women, officers added.
A few of the women joined the syndicate voluntarily believing they would be paid – but told police they had not been given any money, The Guardian Nigeria reported.
Officers were alerted to the presence of the factory on September 19 after receiving a tip-off from neighbours about a lot of pregnant women in their street.
Officers arrested two women – Happiness Ukwuoma, aged 40 and Sherifat Ipeya, 54 – who worked as untrained nurses at the factory
Raids happened on Monday in the coastal city of Lagos after officer received a tip-off last week from a neighbour who became suspicious of the number of pregnant women in their street
One of the rescued women told the Vanguard newspaper that she borrowed money to travel from her home village to Lagos on the promise of house work.
When she arrived at the city’s bus stop her phone was taken from her and she was brought to the ‘factory’ where she was told she would remain for up to a year.
The woman said that, at first, she was used as a prostitute and slept with ‘customers’ each night before falling pregnant.
She was then moved to a different building and told that, if she carried the baby to term, she would be ‘paid handsomely’ and allowed to leave.
Police said the women are now undergoing rehabilitation so they can be resettled in the city, and the investigation is ongoing.
Baby factories are not uncommon in Nigeria – last week a one-week-old baby was saved from an illegal trade syndicate in Lagos, while another huge raid last year rescued 160 children.