Nigeria: "baby factory" raided, 32 pregnant girls rescued

Nigerian police raided a so-called baby factory in the south-eastern city of Aba, rescuing 32 pregnant teenage girls who were allegedly being held captive in order to have their babies bought, the AFP reports.

Authorities claim the raided home in Aba was used to lock up the teenagers, force them to get pregnant and then sell their babies to be trafficked and used for ritual witchcraft or illegal adoption.

"We stormed the premises of the Cross Foundation in Aba three days ago following a report that pregnant girls aged between 15 and 17 are being made to make babies for the proprietor," police commissioner for Abia state Bala Hassan told AFP.

The police commissioner said they rescued 32 pregnant girls and held the owner of the home who is being questioned over allegations that he sells the babies.

The girls allegedly sell their babies for between 25,000 and 30,000 naira ($160 and $192) to the home owner, who then sells them for upwards of one million naira each to buyers.

The home's owner denied running a "baby factory" or "baby farm," as it has been called in the local press. He says the home has been set up for teenagers with unwanted pregnancies, BBC reports.

The United Nations ranks human trafficking the third most common crime in Nigeria, after economic fraud and drug trafficking. It estimates that at least 10 children are sold across Nigeria each day.