London, UK - A British model who was drugged, kidnapped, and about to be auctioned off as a sex slave on the dark web, has gone public with her name and her story.
Chloe Ayling told the Sun “I’ve been through a terrifying experience. I’ve feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour," according to Fox News.
The model was lured to a fake photo shoot in Milan, Italy by Lukasz Pawel Herba, who is Polish but has British residency. The photo shoot was booked by her agent, and she arrived on July 10. On July 11, she went to a Milan apartment for the appointment.
When she got there, she was immediately attacked by two men and drugged. Ayling said "A person with black gloves placed a hand over my mouth from behind while a second person wearing a balaclava gave me an injection in my right arm."
She said she believes that she lost consciousness, because she was wearing only her pink chenille undershirt and socks when she woke up instead of the clothing that she had been wearing.
Ayling said that she realized she was in the "coffin" (trunk) of a car, with her ankles and wrists handcuffed, black tape covering her mouth, and inside a bag that had a small hole where she could breathe. The bag is believed to be a travel bag, according to The New York Times.
She was taken to a remote farmhouse in Turin, about 120 miles away, and held captive for six days. Police said that they suspect Herba advertised Ayling for sale online, while seeking a ransom of more than $300,000 at the same time. They said that Ayling's agent was told to pay the money to stop the auction, which was broadcast on pornographic sites on the dark web.
During her kidnapping, her kidnappers told Ayling that “all girls are for the Arab market, and when the buyer gets fed up of a girl bought at auction, he can gift her to other people, and when of no interest anymore, feed her to tigers.” When she got a chance, Ayling told them that she was the mother of a two-year-old child.
Ayling was driven to the British consulate in Milan by Herba on July 17, and dropped off. Herba was arrested on July 18, and put in jail for investigation of suspected kidnapping for extortion purposes. He is believed to have organized other auctions that claimed to be selling kidnapped women.
Police are still looking for the kidnappers, who claimed to be part of the "Black Death" group. According to The Sun, the group are a "notorious" organization who claim to buy and sell kidnapped women to active bidders on the dark web of the internet. Rumors have been around for years about its actual existence, but this incident is most likely the only crime linked to it.
Ayling said that she is grateful to British and Italian police for "all of their assistance" in getting her released. No motive is known for her release, but the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that it was because she is a mother, and thus "unsuitable for the sex trade." No ransom is believed to have been paid, and the name of Ayling's agent was not released.
The investigation is ongoing in Britain, Italy, and Poland.