Kid­napped model faced sex-slave threat

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - JILL LAWLESS

LON­DON — Chloe Ayling’s or­deal sounds like a tale spawned by night­mares of the evil that lurks on­line.

The 20-year-old Bri­tish model says she was lured to Italy with the prom­ise of a photo shoot, then drugged, stuffed into a suit­case, trans­ported to an iso­lated farm­house and held, at times in hand­cuffs, for al­most a week.

Ayling has told po­lice the “ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence” ended when her cap­tor, who had threat­ened to hold her for ran­som or ad­ver­tise her as sex slave on the crim­i­nal “dark web,” de­cided in­stead to drop her off at the Bri­tish con­sulate in Mi­lan.

As made-for-the movies as the young woman’s ac­count sounds, Ital­ian po­lice have ar­rested a sus­pect: a 30-year-old Pol­ish man who claimed to be a paid killer for a group called the Black Death.

“It seems in­cred­i­ble,” said lawyer Francesco Pesce — “a man kid­naps, to­gether with others, a girl, and af­ter a week, cit­ing par­tic­u­lar rea­sons, ac­com­pa­nies her in­side a con­sulate ... (and) prac­ti­cally hands her over to po­lice.”

“This at first was doubted also by in­ves­ti­ga­tors — but the story later turned out to be true,” he added.

Pesce, Ayling’s agent, and Mi­lan po­lice have all given broadly the same ac­count.

The model — whose ca­reer in­cludes top­less shoots for Bri­tish tabloid news­pa­pers — went to Mi­lan on July 11 for a photo shoot at what her agent, Phil Green, said was “a rec­og­nized stu­dio in the city cen­tre.”

When she got there, her lawyer said, a man grabbed her by the neck while an­other in­jected her with a dose of anes­thetic “strong enough to knock her to the ground.”

“Then she was stuffed in a black sports bag, like she was an ob­ject, and then trans­ported over wind­ing, un­paved roads for more than two hours ... bound hand and foot and with tape across her mouth,” Pesce said.

Mi­lan po­lice said Ayling was taken to a ru­ral house near Turin in north­ern Italy, where she was kept hand­cuffed to a wooden dresser.

They said the sus­pect in cus­tody, Lukasz Pawel Herba, ad­ver­tised her “sale” on­line, while at the same time de­mand­ing $300,000 ran­som.

Then, Ayling was dropped off at the Bri­tish con­sulate in Mi­lan. Po­lice ar­rested Herba, a Pol­ish ci­ti­zen with Bri­tish res­i­dency.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.