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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

UK model recounts abduction in a suitcase in Italy

Italian police say kidnappers tried to auction off 20-year-old as a sex slave

British model Chloe Ayling claimed she was kidnapped by a group who were planning on selling her into sex slavery. Invicta Kent Media / Rex / Shutterstock
British model Chloe Ayling claimed she was kidnapped by a group who were planning on selling her into sex slavery. Invicta Kent Media / Rex / Shutterstock

A British model who was kidnapped in Italy, allegedly to be sold as a sex slave, has returned home and is speaking to British police about her ordeal.

Chloe Ayling’s agent, Phil Green of Supermodel Agency, said that she was speaking to British government officials and police on Monday.

He said in a statement that his client had been kidnapped “by a group calling themselves the Black Death”.

Ms Ayling, 20, told Italian police that she was lured to a false photo shoot in Milan on July 11 where she was attacked, drugged with horse tranquiliser Ketamine and put inside a suitcase.

It is believed the model, from Coulsdon, south London, was then transported in a bag to a remote village near Turin named Borgial.

In a statement given to Italian police, which was published in a local newspaper, she said: "A person wearing black gloves came up from behind and put one hand on my neck and the other on my mouth, while a second person, wearing a black balaclava, injected me in my right arm.

"I think I lost consciousness. When I woke up I was wearing a pink bodysuit and the socks I'm in now.

"I realised I was in the boot of a car, with my wrists and ankles tied and my mouth taped. I was inside a bag, with only a small hole that allowed me to breathe."

Italian police said that Ms Ayling was kept in a rural house handcuffed to a wooden dresser in a bedroom for six days, while her kidnappers tried to auction her off on a sex slave site on the dark web.

It was reported by an Italian newspaper that she was released when her captors discovered she had a child and decided she was not suitable for the sex trade. She was then dropped off at the British consulate in Milan.

Lukasz Pawel Herba, a Polish man with British residency, was arrested by Italian authorities over the abduction on July 18. Police are currently on the hunt for accomplices.

British police have said they are working with their Italian counterparts to investigate the kidnapping.

Britain’s National Crime Agency confirmed that a house in the West Midlands linked to Mr Herba, 30, had been searched by police.

A spokesman said: “A house in the Oldbury area linked to Lukasz Pawel Herba was searched on July 18 by Emsou officers with assistance from West Midlands Police.

“Computer equipment seized is being forensically examined.”

Upon arriving back in Britain on Sunday, Ms Ayling told reporters at her home: "I've been through a terrifying experience. I've feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour."