Thirty-five teenage girls have been rescued from a hotel in southeastern Nigeria where a trafficking ring was forcing them into prostitution. Children births to these girls are sold, according to the police.
The girls, aged between 14 and 17, were rescued from the Gally Gally hotel in Anambra State, where they were “used as sex slaves for prostitution and baby-making,” Anambra police spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
Four of the girls were pregnant, he said, adding that weapons and cash had been recovered by police. Three men were arrested at the scene, while the owner of the hotel is on the run, the police said.
Human trafficking, which includes forced prostitution and the sale of children, is the third most common crime in Nigeria, behind corruption and drug trafficking, according to the United Nations.
South-eastern Nigeria is particularly affected by trafficking in women and children. Several illegal maternity wards have been discovered in this part of the country in recent years.