06 August, 2017
A British model was kidnapped and held captive in Italy for six days, police have said, by a man who reportedly meant to auction her on the dark web.
After the 20-year-old arrived, she was drugged, stuffed in a bag and loaded into the back of a auto and driven to a farmhouse near Turin around 120 miles.
Police say they are still unclear whether the kidnappers were running an online scam to con "buyers" out of money or whether they actually meant to sell her on.
Her captors seemed to have a change of heart when they found out the model had a two-year-old child, and told police their "rules exclude kidnapping mothers" and made a decision to try and release her, the local paper reported.
At one point, the newspaper said, the woman was told she could be freed upon payment of 50,000 euros (around $60,000).
The British Foreign Office said only that it is providing consular support to a British woman in Milan and that it is in touch with local authorities.
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A statement from Milan police headquarters detailed the woman's ordeal. It is unclear if she attempted to gather the money.
The interior "dungeon" of the farmhouse where the model was kept for six days before she was taken back to Milan to be released.
They said she was handcuffed to a dresser until she was released near the British consulate on 17 July - with the kidnapping suspect arrested the day after.
"Analysis of his email shows this man belonged to an organisation called "Black Death", Milan prosecutor Paolo Storari said in a media conference overnight, The Telegraph Reported.
Police said she was injected with an anaesthetic when she arrived at a Milan apartment, put inside a suitcase and taken in the boot of a vehicle to a village in the Piedmont region.
The woman was released after being held for six days and investigations are being carried out by authorities in Italy, Poland and the UK.