Friday, June 3, 2011

Nigerian police free 30 girls in alleged 'baby industry'

From Christian Purefoy, CNN
  • Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Police raided a clinic in southeast Nigeria and rescued about 30 girls allegedly used in a "baby industry" in which they would give birth to children who then would be sold, authorities said Thursday.
  • "There are about 30 pregnant young ladies -- the eldest was 20 years old," said Geoffrey Ogbonna, a police spokesman. "Some belong in secondary, even in primary school."
  • In addition to the expecting mothers, 12 children were found at the clinic ranging in age from 2 to 12 years old, according to Arinze Orakwue, a spokesman for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons. It was not clear whether the children found were related to the pregnant girls and women.
  • Orakwue called the operation of the clinic, which was officially registered, "a failure of oversight."
  • Police stormed the Cross Foundation clinic in Abia state over the weekend after receiving a tip, but no babies were found at the location, the spokesman said.
  • Authorities believe there were cases in which babies were sold for between 100,000 and 150,000 naira ($640 to $960), with the women receiving about $131, according to Ogbonna.
  • Some of the women had unwanted pregnancies and wanted to get rid of their babies, while others were impregnated as part of the operation of the clinic's business, Orakwue said.
  • A doctor arrested at the location said the babies had been handed over to social welfare for adoption.
  • Police said the women seized were not cooperating.
  • Only one of the women has talked so far, and she said her friend took her to the clinic, according to Ogbonna.
  • "They do not want to open up," he said.
  • The investigation continues, police said.

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