A 20-year-old British model was kidnapped, stuffed in a suitcase and held hostage for nearly a week as her captors planned to sell her in an online auction, Italian police say.
Police say the woman, whose name has not been released, went to an apartment in Milan on July 11 for a photoshoot booked by her agent when two men allegedly assaulted, drugged and stuffed her in a travel bag, police said in a statement.
The captors took her to a small home in Turin where she was handcuffed to a wooden chest of drawers for six days before she was taken to the British consulate in Milan, authorities said in the statement.
The kidnappers allegedly told the woman’s agent to pay a ransom of $300,000 to stop the dark web sale, police said.
Lukasz Herba, a 30-year-old Polish national, was arrested outside the consulate after taking the victim to the location, CNN reports.
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The woman told police that her captors decided to let her go after learning she had a small child — claiming and they said they did not traffic mothers, according to the BBC.
Investigators soon learned that Herba allegedly organized several online auctions to sell young girls, describing them as “prey” as he allegedly operated on behalf of an illegal trafficking organization called “Black Death Group,” police said in their statement.
Authorities are searching for another suspect in connection with the case, CNN reports.