The defendant and his accomplice, 29-year-old Chigozie Ogbonna, were both apprehended.
The two suspects and two additional women, Peace Alikoi, 40, and Favour Bright, 30, were reportedly running a baby factory, according to law enforcement officials.
The arrests were made as a result of a tip, according to Grace Iringe-Koko, the Rivers Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO).
The four suspects were operating in the state’s Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre local government areas prior to their arrest, according to a statement from the police chief.
She added that the 10 pregnant ladies had been rescued by officers after the raid and arrest of the suspects.
“On Saturday, January 7, 2023, around 4.45 pm, while acting on credible intelligence available to the Rivers State Police Command, C4I Intelligence Unit operatives raided two houses at Igwuruta and Omagwa communities respectively, where victims of child trafficking were being kept.
“The victims rescued in the operation are 10, most of them pregnant,” Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police said in the statement.
She disclosed that investigations found that when a victim delivered of her baby, the syndicate leader kept the child and paid her a sum of N500,000 and that some of the babies previously delivered in the houses had been sold.
“All the victims confessed that they were lured to the illicit sales of children because of the need to meet some financial challenges. A Honda Pilot Jeep, white, was recovered from the syndicate leader.”
The case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for further investigation and possible prosecution of the suspects.
Meanwhile, efforts are underway to track and arrest the buyers of the children already sold to answer for their crimes.