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British model kidnapped in Milan, Italy, to be 'auctioned', police allege

06 August 2017

She was allegedly assaulted and drugged when she arrived at the studio the next day, then placed in a vehicle boot and taken to a small village near Turin where she was kept prisoner by Lukasz Pawel Herba, a British resident born in Poland, police said.

A UK-based modelling agency sent the woman to the "photoshoot", and once she arrived, was promptly injected with the powerful anaesthesia Ketamine, handcuffed, and stuffed into a suitcase with a pillow case over her head, according to the report.

In the house, "the model was kept handcuffed to a wooden dresser in a bedroom" until she was released on July 17, the police said.

She is believed to be aged in her 20s and was rescued by police when the kidnapper tried to take her to the British Consulate in July.

A statement from Milan police headquarters detailed the woman's ordeal.

Italian police say the offender demanded €50,000 to free her and "threatened to kill her" if she told officers what happened to her.

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As she was released on July 17th, her captor told her: "Our rules exclude mothers".

Prosecutors in Italy said Herba was linked to the Black Death criminal organisation that works on the dark web.

The kidnapper used an encrypted account and then asked the model's agent for $300,000 to stop her from being sold in auction. He was jailed for investigation of suspected kidnapping for extortion purposes.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We have been providing consular support to a British woman in Italy and are in touch with local authorities".

Police are investigating if the woman was abducted so she could be sold off as a sex slave in a Bitcoin auction on the dark web.

Italian investigators are now working with their counterparts in Britain and Poland to identify any accomplices involved in the abduction.

British model kidnapped in Milan, Italy, to be 'auctioned', police allege