A British model who was allegedly drugged, handcuffed and stuffed in a suitcase in Italy before being released recalled the terrifying moments her kidnappers tried selling her as a sex slave on the dark web.
“I’ve been through a terrifying experience, 20-year-old Chloe Ayling told Britain’s The Telegraph after returning home to the UK. “I feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.”
Ayling traveled to a photo shoot in Milan on July 11 when a two men attacked her and injected her with ketamine — a powerful tranquilizer — on her right forearm.
Lukasz Herba, a 30-year-old Polish citizen who lives in Oldbury, was arrested and confessed to his role in the kidnapping. Investigators said the attack had been planned for months.
Ayling’s captors also demanded her agent, who she told police booked the photo shoot, to pay a $300,000 ransom. She said Herba told her that three women were sold a week and he had received $15 million from the sales in the past five years, according to the newspaper.
Herba reportedly told Ayling that she would be sold to a buyer in a Middle Eastern country and if they buyer got bored of her, she should would be fed to tigers.
Prosecutors believe the men belong to a dark web group called “Black Death,” which engages in human trafficking.
Ayling decribed the moments leading up to the alleged kidnapping to Italian police in a statement published by the Guardian.
“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.
“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 the socks I am wearing now, she continued in her statement.
“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.”
Ayling said she screamed so loudly the men had stopped the car three while transporting her to a farmhouse in Borgial, a remote Italian town near the French border, the Guardian reported.
There, her captors handcuffed her dresser and was forced to sleep on the floor and in a sleeping bag.
“They watched me, they stopped me from fleeing and they threatened to kill me if I did,” Ayling recalled to The Telegraph of the four men who only identified each other by their initials.
The alleged kidnappers took photos of Ayling while she was unconscious and posted them online to auction her off. She was eventually released six days later because she’s a mother of a 2-year-old child, which goes against the organization’s rules.
Herba took the model — who hadn’t eaten for days — to the British Consulate in Milan on July 17. He was arrested the next day on suspicion of kidnapping and extortion.
Ayling has been cooperating with Italian police during the investigation and even led them to the farmhouse where the horrific incident had occured.
Francesco Pesce, Ayling’s lawyer, said he’s happy his client has been reunited with her family in Britain and hopes the other captors will be brought to justice.
“She suffered a lot. It was an awful experience and to believe that she would never see her family again. I was so encouraged to see how strong she was (when she revisited the house), a 20-year-old who had been through a terrible ordeal,” Pesce said in a statement to the Guardian.
“Now she is home and it’s important that she has time with her family and is left alone,” the lawyer said.
PHoto Credit: The Nation