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British model kidnapped in Italy and put up for auction on internet
06 August 2017, 01:28 | Francis Delgado
On arrival in July she was reportedly drugged with Ketamine and held prisoner for a week
Police say the British model was lured to an abandoned shop near Milan's Central Station with the promise of a photoshoot, only to be drugged, handcuffed and put in a suitcase.
The woman, 20, had arrived in the city to take part in a photo shoot arranged through her agent, but was abducted and held captive for six days.
The woman, whose identity has not been revealed, was held prisoner for a week after being drugged, authorities said.
The kidnapper was captured by police while he was accompanying the model to the British Consulate in Milan.
Detectives are unclear as to whether Herba was serious about auctioning his victim or if it was simply a threat meant to extort 300,000 euros in Bitcoin from the model's agent and family. In the house, "the model was kept handcuffed to a wooden dresser in a bedroom" until she was released on July 17, the police said.
A statement from Milan police headquarters detailed the woman's ordeal.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reports the woman was told she could be freed if a ransom of €50,000 (£45,000, $58,000) was paid, although it is not known if this money was paid.
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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.
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.
Milan police officer Lorenzo Bucossi told reporters the group the suspect was allegedly working for offered "mercenary services" on the dark web.
It was not immediately clear why the suspect took the model to the consulate.
Police believe that Pawel Herba has advertised the "sale" of the woman on the internet, as well as demanding a ransom from the woman's agent of $300,000.
Investigations in the case are ongoing in Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom.
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