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The police are looking for possible accomplices to the abduction of a British model in Italy, after the alleged mastermind said that he had planned to auction the victim off as a sex slave on the dark web.
At least one other man is suspected to be involved, following the arrest of British-resident Pole Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30.
Italian media reports that the 20-year-old mother told police that she saw two men and was aware that there had been three others, but did not see their faces during her ordeal which lasted for a week.
She had been drugged and kidnapped on July 11 after attending what was a set-up photo shoot in downtown Milan, reports AsiaOne.
“I think I passed out because when I woke up I only had on my pink chenille body and socks.
"I realised I was in the boot of a car, bound at the ankle and wrists with my mouth taped up.
“I was in a luggage bag with only a small gap to to breathe through.”
She was then brought to a remote village in the mountains, about a three-hour journey away, and held there until July 17.
Police confirmed that the victim had been injected with ketamine, a tranquilliser, and said that they believe Herba was capable of causing the victim ‘serious physical harm’.
They also discounted the accuracy of Herba’s statement, saying that they were ‘barely credible’.
As there were no bidders in the auction, it remains unclear whether Herba had the contacts or resources to organise an operation of the scale.
Milan deputy prosecutor Paolo Storari said:
"Fantasist or not, what is clear is that he is a very dangerous man who drugged his victim as soon as she was kidnapped and put her inside a large travel bag in the boot of a car.
“His version of events is barely credible but clearly he does not deny that he was with her for the time she was missing.”
For reasons unknown at the moment, Herba had driven the victim back to Milan and released her close to the British Consulate, where he was arrested.
Apparently, he had told the model he could no longer keep her as she was a mother of a young child, and that such abductions were prohibited by the ‘Black Death’, a web-based group he claimed to be from.
The police are still unsure whether the group is real, or if Herba’s depictions are accurate.
Investigations are ongoing, with help from the police in Britain and Poland.