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Nigerian Police Officials Rescue 15 Children from Trafficking

Nigerian police in southern Rivers state have rescued 15 children they say were being trafficked by a 44-year-old woman who claimed to be a nun.

The Rivers State Police Command said the children were rescued from the woman's residence in the Ikwerre local government area during a raid on September 3.

Spokesperson Friday Eboka said police had received a tipoff about the matter. He said all the children were under 10 years of age and that some of them had been missing for several months.

Eboka said they were abducted from various parts of Nigeria's southern region, including nearby Bayelsa state.

The woman, who said she was a nun, told reporters Wednesday that she was running a non-profit organization for abandoned kids.

Eboka said the case has been transferred to higher authorities for investigation. He did not respond to calls from VOA for comment.

The International Organization for Migration says Nigeria is a source, transit point, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking, for reasons including forced labor and forced prostitution.

The problem persists despite the establishment in 2003 of a national agency to combat trafficking in persons.

Police in northwest Sokoto state this week arrested two suspects for allegedly trying to traffic people to Libya.