A British model has described how she was drugged, handcuffed, gagged and put in a bag in the boot of a car by kidnappers who then tried to sell her as a sex slave in an on-line auction.Chloe Ayling, 20, has given a terrifying account of her week-long ordeal after she was drugged with ketamine, taken by balaclava clad men and chained to a chest of drawers in a remote Italian farmhouse.
As she returned to Britain for the first time, Ayling said that she feared for her life “second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour”.
Her captors claimed to be part of an on-line organisation called “Black Death” and threatened to sell her on the “deep web” if her agent failed to pay a ransom of $US300,000 (NZ$404,960).
She was told that she would probably be trafficked to the Middle East where, once the man who bought her bored of her, she would be passed on to someone else or fed to tigers.
Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30, a Polish national who lives in the United Kingdom, has been arrested by police and confessed to the kidnapping, which investigators described as an elaborate plot that involved months of planning. His home in Oldbury, in the West Midlands, has been raided by British officers.
Ayling told Italian police that her agent had booked her a photo shoot in Milan on July 11 but when she turned up at the abandoned building she was attacked.
“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 in her statement.
“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 socks.
“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.”
As she screamed for help she was driven 190km to the tiny hamlet of Borgial near the French border where they forced her to lie on the floor next to a chest of drawers and handcuffed her hands and feet to the legs, leaving her “totally immobilised”.
The captors eventually agreed to accept $88,060 and Herba took her to the British Consulate in Milan on July 17 where he was arrested.
She told police she had met Herba a few months earlier on a shoot that was aborted in Paris. Reuters