United Kingdom model 'kidnapped in Milan in bid to auction her off online'

British model 'kidnapped and drugged' before being AUCTIONED online

A British model was kidnapped and held captive in Italy for six days, police have said, by a man who reportedly meant to auction her on the dark web.

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

According to court documents, the woman was drugged by her abductor and held in a small town in the north-western Piedmont region of Italy.

Lukasz Herba was arrested July 17th outside the British consulate in Milan while accompanying the woman, said Lorenzo Bucossi, the head of the Milan Police Mobile Command unit.

The kidnapper used an encrypted account to ask the model's agent for £230,000 ($300,000) to stop her from being sold in auction. He was jailed for investigation of suspected kidnapping for extortion purposes.

The 20-year-old was kept chained to a wooden dresser in the farmhouse.

Police say they are still unclear whether the kidnappers were running an online scam to con "buyers" out of money or whether they actually meant to sell her on.

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 claimed the woman was taken to an abandoned office block on July 11 close to Milan's Central station in the boot of a auto. Italian authorities believe that no ransom was paid for her release.

While holding her hostage, the man demanded around £45,100 (€50,000) from her if she wished to be freed.

He was arrested by police after being caught taking the model to the British Consulate in Milan.

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.

The Foreign Office confirmed it was providing assistance to the woman in Italy and is also cooperating with local authorities.

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