ABUJA, Nigeria ( Associated Press) — At least 35 captive teenage girls have been forced to work in a prostitution ring after Nigerian police searched a hotel in southeastern Nigeria, police said.
State police spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga said in a statement on Tuesday that the girls, aged between 14 and 17, were found in Nakpore town in Anambra state following a tip-off.
The note stated that some of the girls were being used for prostitution, while others were pregnant so that their children could be sold. Police said four of those rescued are pregnant.
Three suspects were arrested in connection with the incident, rifles and 877,500 naira (2,112) cash were also seized, the police statement said.
“The arrested suspects are being questioned to ascertain their involvement and to unearth other gang members,” the spokesman said. He said formal charges would be leveled against the detainees after the investigation is completed.
According to the note, the juveniles will be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Human Trafficking, which will deal with them.
This is not the first time that police in the region have released young women who were being sexually abused and forced to have children who were later sold.
A child trafficking gang was busted in Ebonyi state last month, when a child was sold for 355,000 naira ($855), police said.