A British glamour model was kidnapped in Milan and detained for six days as her captor tried to auction her off as a sex slave on the dark web, Italian police have said.
The 20-year-old woman was attacked on July 11 by two men as she attended an arranged photo shoot in Milan set up by a criminal group calling themselves Black Death.
Once there the woman, named by MailOnline as Chloe Ayling, was reportedly injected with horse tranquiliser, ketamine, and became unconscious.
She was then placed into a bag and loaded in a car boot before being driven to a farmhouse in Borgial, an isolated village near Turin, some 120 miles away.
“Attacked, drugged, handcuffed and closed inside a suitcase, that’s how a 20-year-old English model was kidnapped on July 11 in Milan to be sold to the best offer on pornography sites,” on the internet, a statement from police reads.
Ayling was kept there was six days, handcuffed to furniture, before being released on July 17 when her captor reportedly learned she was the mother of a two-year-old boy.
Lukasz Pawel Herba, A Polish man, who lives in Britain, was arrested on July 18 on suspicion of kidnap and extortion, state police said.
The Mail quoted Ayling as saying that after losing consciousness she woke up wearing a pink bodysuit in a car boot with “my wrists and ankles handcuffed, adhesive tape on my mouth”.
“I was inside a bag and was only able to breathe through a small hole,” she told the website, having returned home to the UK on Sunday.
“I’ve been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life. Second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.”
It is alleged two men tried to sell Ayling online for more than 300,000 dollars (£230,000) and later demanded the model’s agent pay to secure her safe release.
Ayling was eventually taken to the British consulate in Milan, despite the ransom not being paid.
It has also been reported that the captor demanded £50,000 upon the woman’s release and threatened to kill her if she told police about the incident.
Milan daily Corriere della Sera said the kidnapper let his victim go because he discovered she had a child and considered her unsuitable for the sex trade. But the police official, Lorenzo Bucossi, told reporters it was unclear why the woman was released.
Ayling, a former Daily Star Page 3 model, has previously told how she was caught up in a terrorist attack in Paris in April which resulted in a police officer being shot dead on the the Champs-Elysees.
Bucossi said the group the suspect was allegedly working for offered “mercenary services” on the dark web.
According to a translation on Sky News, Bucossi said: “Certainly the author of this very serious crime is a dangerous person – don’t forget he was also ready to carry out a ‘final solution’, as he called it.
“He was a killer and was working for an organisation on the deep web that is offering mercenary services such as bombing attacks, kidnapping and the selling of girls on the dark web.”
Italian police said they are working with officials in Britain and Poland as they continue to investigate.
A list of terms and conditions on the advert for Ayling’s sale was released by Italian police and reads: “Girls can be transported globally, we have contractors for that, for a price... EU delivery is free, might take time dependent on current location and drop-off point.”
The auction also noted the following particulars: “Born in UK; Abducted in Italy; Held in Germany; 19 year old; Caucasian; 34DD-25-35; Beginner model; Starting bid $300,000. Auction takes place 16.7.2017’.”
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.”