British model kidnapped in Milan, held hostage for 1 week
MILAN - A 20-year-old English model was kidnapped, drugged, and auctioned on the internet for buyers to sexually abuse her. The culprit, named as Polish-born Lukasz Herba, 30, who is believed to live in the West Midlands, attempted to auction her for 300 thousand euros in Bitcoins.
Friday afternoon saw the incident, which took place between July 11 - 17, brought to the public eye for the first time, in court, as the culprit stood before the Judge for Preliminary Investigations, Anna Magelli in Milan.
The young model had been lured from Paris to Milan for a fake photoshoot. Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the model had had ketamine injected into her arms, before she was taken to an abandoned office block in Via Bianconi 7, locked in the boot of a car.
She woke to find herself handcuffed to furniture in the room before the Bitcoin auction started. She was then transported in a bag for over two and a half hours towards the French border, where she was held hostage for a week.The owner of her model agency received a redemption request with a deadline: pay 300,000 euros by Sunday otherwise the girl would be auctioned.
Despite naked photos of the model being put online, the auction never happened. It is thought that the captor released her one week later, having discovered that the woman has a two year old son; his organisation did not include women with children.
Italian police arrested Herba near the British Consulate on July 17, where he had brought the girl on her ‘release.’ Italian sources claim that the offender then demanded 50,000 Euros to free her and ‘threatened to kill her’ if she told officers what happened to her.
The police have performed several detailed reconstructions of the crime, and have found the DNA of both the girl and the man in the house. They are now looking to identify Herba’s accomplices, potentially part of international online criminal group ‘Black Death’.