British model 'kidnapped in Milan for Dark Web auction'

British model 'kidnapped in Milan for Dark Web auction'

30-year-old Lukasz Herba, a Polish national, approached the United Kingdom -based modeling agency that represented the 20-year-old model on July 11, posing as a photographer looking for models for an advertising campaign.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office confirmed they are "providing consular support to a British woman in Italy and are in touch with local authorities".

The kidnapper used an encrypted account and then asked the model's agent for $300,000 to stop her from being sold in auction.

Lukasz Pawel Herba has been jailed for trying to sell the woman on the dark web.

A BRITISH model was put up for auction on the internet with a starting bid of USD$353,000 (A$445,000) after being kidnapped and drugged when she showed up to a sham photoshoot in Milan.

Herba, who also may have had an accomplice, allegedly threw the suitcase into the trunk of his vehicle and drove to an events hall he had rented in a Southern Milanese suburb where he held the woman captive, the local paper reported.

It is thought she was kept in the bag for two-and-a-half hours and stayed in Turin for six days.

No one took part in the online auction, so it was unclear if Herba had the necessary contacts to organise such an operation of was something of a fantasist, according to the police.

The woman was released when the man discovered she had a child, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, but police said it was unclear why she was freed. The 20-year-old has given statements to police. Italian authorities believe that no ransom was paid for her release.

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.

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

Italian media reports that Herba has links to the "Black Death" criminal organisation that works on the dark web.

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.

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