Model kidnapped to be sold in online auction
Chloe Ayling, a British model in her twenties, who was coaxed into coming to Milan for a photoshoot was drugged, kidnapped, handcuffed, and loaded into a bag on arrival for six days. She was sent by her British modelling agency who had asked her to reach central station and later to the apartment where the shoot was to be held the next day.
When she reached the apartment, she was drugged and undressed by two men who took her pictures. The accused Lukasz Herba, 30, and his accomplice then tied her up, put her in a bag in the boot of a car, and drove her miles away.
The model was driven to an isolated house in Borgial, where she was kept handcuffed in a chest of drawers for 6 days until she was released. “The psychological pressure on the girl has been extreme,” says Serena Ferrari, a senior police officer from Milan.
The British agency did notice her prolonged absence of contact and when they received a message from the captor demanding $300,000, they were sure that something bad had happened to her. They then notified the police about it.
Lukasz Pawel Herba, the captor who lives in UK, spent months planning the abduction and auction. He bought a fake passport under the name of Daniel Zawada through the internet in May 2017. He used that to obtain a legitimate tax file number so that he could rent out an apartment to keep the model captive.
Lukasz is part of the ‘dark web’ network called the “Black death” group. Although the police are unable to say whether he was just a part of this group or had himself created it, they are sure that Lukasz had contacts with people who have kidnapped women in the past. The police also found evidence of three other cases of women being auctioned for sexual slavery on his computer.
The only reason Lukasz decided to let go of the model was because she had child of two years and it was against the group’s rules to kidnap any mother. Lukasz threatened her by saying she would be released if she paid them $500,000 and told no one about it. He also reminded the model of her value at the auction market saying he treated her with respect and expects the same in return.
Lukasz decided to drop the model at the British Consulate in Milan. The police aren’t sure why he did that, but upon reaching the embassy, Lukasz was immediately arrested. The Polish, Italian and UK embassies are dealing with his case now. Meanwhile, the model is being given consular support.