Wednesday 25 April 2018

'When I woke up I was in a bag' - Model reveals she was drugged at fake shoot and 'auctioned' on dark web

Chloe Ayling (right) claims she was held by Lukasz Pawel Herba (left top) at a rural house
Chloe Ayling (right) claims she was held by Lukasz Pawel Herba (left top) at a rural house
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A glamour model who was drugged and kidnapped by a gang who then threatened to auction her on the dark net has spoken of her trauma.

Chloe Ayling (20) has identified herself as the model at the centre of the major international investigation.

She returned to Britain and today she told how she feared for her life every minute for the week that she was kept captive in a remote Italian farmhouse.

Speaking to The Telegraph Ms Ayling said she was sent to the Milan for a photo shoot on July 10 and was brutally kidnapped the following day by a man posing as a photographer.

Chloe Ayling. Picture: Instagram
Chloe Ayling. Picture: Instagram

Speaking on the doorstep of her family home in Coulsden, south London, she said: "I've been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.

"I am 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 gather my thoughts. I am not at liberty to say anything further until I have been debriefed by the UK police."

Ms Ayling was held for a week in th the tiny hamlet of Borgial near the French border.

Photo released by police of the place where a man identified as identified as Lukasz Pawel Herba, a Polish citizen with British residency, held a young British model, who thought she was coming to Milan for a photo shoot, but instead was drugged, hustled away in a suitcase and handcuffed in a house in northern Italy before being released, Milan police said Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (Italian Police Photo via AP)
Photo released by police of the place where a man identified as identified as Lukasz Pawel Herba, a Polish citizen with British residency, held a young British model, who thought she was coming to Milan for a photo shoot, but instead was drugged, hustled away in a suitcase and handcuffed in a house in northern Italy before being released, Milan police said Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (Italian Police Photo via AP)

Her kidnapper claimed to be part of an online organisation called ‘Black Death’ and threatened to sell her on the ‘deep web’ if her agent failed to pay a ransom of $300,000.

Lukasz Pawel Herba (30) a Polish national who lives in the UK, was arrested by police and confessed to the kidnapping which investigators described as an elaborate plot that involved months of planning.

Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS
Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS

The man is being held in Milan’s Opera maximum security prison.

In a statement to Italian police Ms Ayling gave a terrifying account of what happened to her when she showed up for the photo shoot in a studio near Milan’s central station on July 11.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Accompanied by her Milan lawyer, Francesco Pesce, on Saturday the traumatised woman took Italian police to the fake studio and the house 120 miles from Milan where she had been handcuffed for a week to assist them in their investigation.

A screenshot of an internet page on a laptop belonging to Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, shows a balaclava purchase. Handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS
A screenshot of an internet page on a laptop belonging to Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, shows a balaclava purchase. Handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS

Mr Pesce said his client had shown extraordinary courage when she revisited the house where she had been kept hostage.. “She shed a tear, she was so brave,” he said.  “She is such a young girl to have been subjected to such an ordeal, she must have suffered so much.

“It must have been terrifying to be alone in this house being locked up by strangers in the middle of nowhere. She was told she was going to be sold. It was scary.”

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