Lagos – Police in southern Nigeria said they have rescued 15 children from a suspected human trafficker who claimed to be a nun.
Rivers State police commissioner Friday Eboka said the children – aged between four and 15 – were freed from a hideout in the Ikwerre area on Saturday following a tip-off.
“Fifteen children were rescued,” he said in a statement late on Tuesday, adding the victims had been abducted from Rivers and a nearby state.
Eboka said the parents of five of the children had been contacted while efforts were ongoing to reach the others.
“We are yet to locate the parents of the remaining 10 children for identification.”
Eboka said a 44-year-old woman “who claimed to be Rev. Sister Maureen Wechinwu” had been arrested.
Human trafficking in Nigeria often targets young girls and children, who are sometimes sent abroad and promised fake jobs and opportunities.
Nigerian police have previously freed dozens of underage women and babies from illegal maternity homes known as “baby factories”, where women are forced to have children for sale on the black market.
They are usually small illegal facilities parading as private medical clinics.
In many cases, young women have been held against their will and sexually assaulted before their babies are sold.