Yesterday, a young British glamour model made headlines the world over when she revealed her terrifying ordeal of being lured to a property in Milan under the false pretence of a photo shoot, only to be kidnapped by online criminal group, Black Death.
Horrifyingly, Chloe Ayling, 20, says she was drugged with ketamine and stuffed into a bag by the Dark Web kidnappers who sought to auction her as a sex slave.
Chloe says she went to an abandoned shop near Central Station in Milan, Italy, thinking she was going to a photo shoot but she was drugged, stuffed in the bag and driven 120 miles to a farmhouse in Turin.
In a police statement, she described what happened to her: “A person wearing black gloves came from behind and put one hand on my neck and one on my mouth to stop me from screaming.
“A second person wearing a black balaclava gave me an injection in my right forearm. I think I lost consciousness. When I woke up I was wearing a pink bodysuit and the socks I am wearing now.
“I realised I was in the boot of a car with my wrists and ankles handcuffed, adhesive tape on my mouth. I was inside a bag and was only able to breathe through a small hole.”
A police press conference in Milan named her captor as Lukasz Herba, 30, who is accused of trying to sell her on the internet for A$445,000 through bitcoin.
Now the Italian media have called into question why Chloe allegedly went shoe shopping with this man. La Repubblica claim she burst into tears when investigators asked her about the shoe-shop trip.
"That the kidnapping was real or that she was doped with ketamine is not put into question by the investigators. But it is also tremendously true that many details do not add up," the publication wrote.
However, a friend of Ms Ayling spoke anonymously to MailOnline, said it was because Chloe lost her shoes during the ordeal so the captor was replacing them.
She also apparently knew him. Speaking to MailOnline, the friend revealed: "I can't say too much because Chloe is being debriefed by British police and the Foreign Office, but she did know the man who kidnapped her. She met him in April on a photo shoot she had been on in Paris. He then called her agency and booked her for the photo shoot in Milan. He specifically asked for her. He seemed genuine. He sent previous examples of his work and paid in advance."
Lukasz Herba was reportedly found with a Black Death pamphlet which offers sexual services of women for auction.
The contents were released by police in Italy: “Girls can be transported globally, we have contractors for that, for a price... EU delivery is free, might take time dependant on current location and drop-off point,” the pamphlet read.
Shockingly, Ayling’s details were being advertised: “Born in UK; Abducted in Italy; Held in Germany; 19 year old; Caucasian; 34DD-25-35; Beginner model; Starting bid $300,000. Auction takes place 16.7.2017”.
She was allegedly released by the group six days after she was taken when the group learned she had a 2-year-old child and she went to the British consulate upon her release.
The Italian press have also speculated why kidnapper Herba would accompany Miss Ayling into the British consulate in Milan.
The model was reportedly given this letter after she was released:
Italian newspaper Il Giornale reported Chloe was told she'd be sold outside of Europe.
Il Giornale reports she said: “He [one of the alleged kidnappers] told me ... That he alone had earned more than €15m in the last five years and explained to me that all the girls are destined for the Arab countries. When the buyer gets tired of the girl bought by auction [they] can give them to other people, and when it is no longer of interest they are to become a ‘tiger meal’.”
Speaking outside her London home, Ayling told reporters:
"I’ve been through a terrifying experience. I’ve feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour," she said.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the Italian and UK authorities for all they have done to secure my safe release.
“I have just arrived home after four weeks and haven’t had time to collect my thoughts. I am not at liberty to say anything further until I have been debriefed by the UK police.”
More as we get it.