Polish man arrested over Milan model abduction

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A British model was threatened with being sold in an online auction after being drugged and kidnapped in Milan, say Italian police. In the meantime Herba had put the model up on auction on the dark web, asking a starting figure of $353,000 in Bitcoin.

After six days held captive the woman was freed and taken to the British embassy in Milan, despite the ransom not being paid.

The model was reportedly told she would be killed if she reported the ordeal to police.

Police say they are still unclear whether the kidnappers were running an online scam to con "buyers" out of money or whether they actually meant to sell her on.

Police said she was injected with an anaesthetic when she arrived at a Milan apartment, put inside a suitcase and taken in the boot of a auto to a village in the Piedmont region.

She was then dropped by her captors at the British Consulate in Milan on July 17.

The 20-year-old woman had been lured to Milan by the promise of a modelling shoot, after the alleged kidnappers had contacted her agent to book her.

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Officials have released a mugshot of the suspect, named as 30-year-old Lukasz Pawel Herba.

She was loaded into the trunk of a auto and taken to a cabin on the outskirts of Lemie, a remote town in the Italian Alps, she told authorities.

Officers are now investigating the incident after the man was captured with the model.

The British Foreign Office said only that it is providing consular support to a British woman in Milan and that it is in touch with local authorities.

Police found a small bedroom at the property, but it is unclear whether it was used by the model or the kidnapper.

He also allegedly told the agent that he was operating on behalf of "the Black Death group", an organization involved in illegal trafficking on the dark web, a layer of the Internet accessible only through anonymizing networks like Tor.

Investigations in the case are ongoing in Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom.

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