A still image taken from a video shows women, who were freed by police with other girls and women that were held captive, entering a bus in Lagos, Nigeria, September 30, 2019.
A still image taken from a video shows women, who were freed by police with other girls and women that were held captive, entering a bus in Lagos, Nigeria, Sept. 30, 2019.

Police in Nigeria have rescued 19 young women from a "baby factory" operation in the country's largest city, Lagos. 

Lagos police spokesman Bala Elkana said the victims, aged 15 to 28, were rescued along with four babies. 

The women were lured to Lagos from all across Nigeria with promises of a job, but then imprisoned. 

A still image taken from a video shows a pregnant woman waiting at a police station in Lagos, Nigeria, Sept. 30, 2019.

"The young women were mostly abducted by the suspects for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers. The girls were tricked with employment as domestic staff in Lagos," Elkana said.

Police arrested two women and are searching for the main suspect, identified only as "Madam Oluchi" from Imo State.

It is unclear how many babies were born and sold by the operation, but Elkana said, "Boys are sold for 500,000 naira ($1,600) and girls for 300,000 naira ($900)."

Human trafficking and abuse are common among the poor in Nigeria. Last week, a raid at a purported Islamic school in the northern city of Kaduna found some 400 young men and boys, some as young as five. They showed signs of severe abuse and some were found chained.