Did motherhood save British model from Bitcoin sex slave auction in Milan?

Muriel Hammond
August 6, 2017

A British model has been drugged and kidnapped in Milan and was set to be sold in an online auction on the dark web, according to Italian police.

When she walked into the apartment where the photo shoot was supposed to take place, two men attacked her, police said.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office confirmed they are "providing consular support to a British woman in Italy and are in touch with local authorities".

Her captors then dropped off the model July 17 at the British Consulate in Milan.

Her captor was described as British-Polish and tried to sell her on the internet for 300,000 Euros (£270,000). He was jailed for investigation of suspected kidnapping for extortion purposes.

A Milan court heard the woman arrived in Milan on July 11 and was seized near the central station when she was drugged with ketamine.

It is now unclear why the kidnapping came to an end.

Officials have released a mugshot of the suspect, named as 30-year-old Lukasz Pawel Herba.

"Fantasist or not, what is clear is that he is a very risky man who drugged his victim as soon as she was kidnapped and put her inside a large travel bag in the boot of a vehicle", Milan deputy prosecutor Paolo Storari told a press conference.

The woman was kept handcuffed to a wooden chest of drawers in a bedroom for a week, police said.

The woman's modelling agency then contacted police and Herba reportedly negotiated a ransom for about USD$60,000 ($75,000) with them.

She was loaded into the trunk of a vehicle and taken to a cabin on the outskirts of Lemie, a remote town in the Italian Alps, she told authorities.

Corriere della Sera, a Milan newspaper, reported that the kidnapper let his victim go because he discovered she had a child and considered her unsuitable for the sex trade. He later moved the model to a farmhouse close to Turin, some 120 miles away, where she was held captive for six days.

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