British model kidnapped for dark web auction, Italian police say

The woman was held for six days in Milan Italy

A British model was kidnapped in Milan and detained for six days as her captor tried to auction her off online, Italian police have said.

She was subsequently drugged, forced into a suitcase and driven away to a house outside the city, where she was handcuffed and held captive.

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.

According to the Italian police, the suspect used encrypted accounts to ask the model's agent for $300,000 to stop the online auction from going ahead.

"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", said a statement from Milan police.

The websites for the auctions included a description of the victim and a starting price but police said it was still unclear whether the suspect had made them up.

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Police say the model was freed after discovering she had a young son, which broke the vile group's rules to exclude mums.

They also alleged Herba had dealings in "chemicals and poisons" as he faced a pre-trial hearing before magistrate Anna Magelli in Milan on Friday.

The 20-year-old woman had been lured to Milan by the promise of a modelling shoot, after the alleged kidnappers had contacted her agent to book her.

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

Officers went through Herba's phone and computer and said they found photos of the woman and material stating she was for sale, while hair from both the model and Herba was found in the boot of his vehicle.

The woman was released after being held for six days and investigations are being carried out by authorities in Italy, Poland and the UK.

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