Nigerian authorities said Monday that 19 girls and young women who were abducted and impregnated by captors who planned to sell their babies have been rescued.
Lagos police spokesman Bala Elkana said the victims and four babies were rescued from four locations in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city.
The victims, aged between 15 and 28, are mainly from eastern Nigeria. They told police they were tricked into coming to Lagos with the promise of jobs.
Nigeria has a high number of syndicates that keep young women to produce babies for sale – a scheme locally termed "baby factories." The police spokesman said the price of a baby can range from $830 to $1,400.
“The young women were mostly abducted by the suspects for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers,” Elkana said in a statement. “The girls were tricked with employment as domestic staff in Lagos.”
Two female suspects, aged 40 and 54, have been arrested in connection with the case, Reuters reported. A manhunt has been launched for a third suspect, police said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.