Police Rescue Pregnant Women Who Were Abducted, Raped and Forced to Sell Male Babies for $1,400 and Females for $830

Nigerian police have rescued 19 pregnant women who had been abducted and forcibly impregnated at properties described as "baby factories" in the city of Lagos.

Officers with the Nigeria Police Force raided the facilities, finding not only the 19 women, but also four children who were also being held at the facilities, according to a report from the BBC.

Two women operating as untrained nurses at the facilities were reportedly arrested, but police are still searching for the main suspect in the case, who has been identified by police as "Madam Oluchi" from Mbano, Imo State.

Most of the women freed from the "baby factories" had been abducted from across the Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Abia and the Imo states and held in captivity "for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies," a police statement said, according to the Vanguard newspaper.

The women, whose ages range from 15 to 28, had been lured to Lagos with the promise of employment opportunities but were instead taken to the baby factories, where they were raped.

It is unclear how many babies had been born and sold as a result of the trafficking operation–or who the buyers were.

Male babies, police said, were believed to be sold through the operation for as much as $1,400, while female babies were sold for nearly half that price, at around $830.

"[A] woman came to pick me at the [bus] park and brought me here," one of the women rescued told the Vanguard.

"The next day, I was summoned by our madam, who told me that I would not leave the premises until next year," she said.

The woman said she had been forced to sleep with seven different men before she discovered she was pregnant.

"I was told that after delivery, I would be paid handsomely," she said.

It is unclear whether any of the women who were forcibly impregnated at the facility ever received any money after giving birth.

According to police, the women and children rescued from the baby factories have been rehoused and are receiving rehabilitative care.

It is still unclear what that rehabilitative care will entail.

This is not the first time that raids at similar baby factory operations have taken place in Nigeria.

Last year, a raid at a baby factory and two unregistered orphanages in Lagos saw more than 160 children rescued.

Some of the children had also allegedly suffered sexual abuse, according to the BBC.

Babies born under such conditions are typically believed to be sold for adoption, child labor, trafficked for prostitution or even killed for ritual purposes.

The Nigeria Police Force has not immediately responded to a request for information from Newsweek.

Moonlight maternity clinic
The Moonlight Maternity Clinic in the southeastern Nigeria city of Enugu was raided by paramilitary operatives for allegedly engaging in a baby trafficking business on August 5, 2013. Years later, so-called 'baby factories' are still a problem, with police freeing 19 women held at similar facilities in Lagos, Nigeria. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty