Italian police were informed on Saturday that a British model has been left seriously traumatized after she was drugged and kidnapped in Milan, Italy, while her captor tried to “auction” her on the internet in case her agent didn’t pay $300,000.
Authorities revealed the model was sent by her U.K. agent to the Italian city for a photo session on July 10 and was brutally kidnapped a day later by a man who posed as a professional photographer.The Police revealed the model’s name is Chloe Ayling, and told they are searching for at least one accomplice.
Serena Ferrari, a senior police from Milan involved in the investigation explained that the psychological pressure on the woman has been extreme, and assured she was very afraid during the whole incident.
Apparently, when the 20-year-old model arrived at the fake studio near Milan’s central railway station on July 11, she was injected with Ketamine before being undressed and photographed by the suspect.
The kidnapper and an accomplice then handcuffed Ayling, taped her mouth shut and stuffed her in a large bag in the boot of their car just before drive her more almost three hours to a remote house in a tiny hamlet 120 miles from Milan close to the French border called Borgial.
Authorities explained she was kept handcuffed to a wooden chest of drawers inside a rented house for a week. Additionally, they informed the young woman was not raped. Apparently, her British agent notified police when she didn’t return to London and he received the subsequent ransom demand from the kidnappers.
A 30-year-old Polish national from Szczecin who lives in the U.K. called Lukasz Pawel Herba was arrested by the police and charged with the attack. Authorities said he had confessed to the kidnapping, which detectives described as an elaborate plot that involved several months of planning.
The young woman was held captive for seven days while her kidnappers sought to “auction” her through a “deep web” network called “Black Death,” which is a group that detectives claimed had been previously investigated by the Europol.
The chief of the Milan branch of Italy’s state Police Lorenzo Bucossi told they don’t know if Herba is somehow linked to an organization or just created his own version of Black Death. On the other hand, while Prosecutor Paolo Storari said it was unclear whether this criminal organization really existed, he told that Herba was about to create an auction online, and have evidence that proves he had contact with persons who have kidnapped women in the past.
Authorities alleged there were three other cases of women being auctioned for sexual slavery on Herba’s computer, but this was the only case of an auction they had found. Apparently, the young woman was released because she was a mother with a young child.
According to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the kidnapper allegedly told Ayling that their rules exclude mothers. Once she was finally released, the suspects demanded $50,000 and threatened to kill her if she informed what happened to the police. Her captors issued a chilling warning in what seems to be a contract taken from Herba´s computer.
The document said in English that they made a mistake by capturing her, and that she’s being released with a warning. Furthermore, it said that she has to pay the amount in Bitcoin within a month, and that they expect the same respectful and fairly treat they give to her during the whole incident.
Had British model kidnapped in Milan not told her captors she was a mother of a 2 year old – she never would have been released at all…
— charles benjamin (@chaleeboh3131) 6 de agosto de 2017
Apparently, the Milan police swooped when the kidnapper accompanied the model to the U.K. Consulate in the city on July 17. So far, it remains unknown why he decided to do take this action. Regarding this issue, Italian police said Polish and British detectives had been working with them closely on the investigation.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office explained that they have been providing any kind of consular support to the British woman in Italy and are in touch with the local authorities. They are now seeking to identify and trace at least one other accomplice.
Authorities believe Herba spent some months planning this operation and had obtained a false Polish passport under the name Daniel Zawada through internet in May. He allegedly used it to obtain a legitimate tax file number and rent two properties in Italy. Herba is also alleged to have acquired two balaclavas and a Bitcoin device on the web.