British model Chloe Ayling was allegedly kidnapped while attending a photo shoot in Milan.
Ayling, a 20-year-old mother-of-one, went to Milan, Italy on a July 10th to attend a photo shoot that had been set up by her agent. The photo shoot was reportedly advertised online which is a common method for finding modeling and acting jobs.
On July 11th, Ayling went to the apartment where the photo shoot was supposed to take place and that’s when she claims she was ambushed. She says she was grabbed by someone wearing black gloves from behind and that something was injected into her arm. She then lost consciousness and woke up in only her underwear.
She says she was then placed in a bag and moved to a cabin in a remote area near the Italian Alps. There she was handcuffed to a chest of drawers.
At some point a photo was posted of Ayling online, bound and in the bag she had been transported in. This was for an auction on the Deep/Dark Web that would award Ayling to the highest bidder, presumably as a sex slave.
The kidnappers contacted Ayling’s agent, asking for a $300,000 ransom to stop the online auction.
Ayling alleged that the suspects identified themselves as members of “the Black Death group” which is known for its involvement in human trafficking on the part of the web that is only accessible through anonymous networks.
Ayling has insisted she was not sexually abused by her captors. She alleges that she identified that 30-year-old Lucasz Herba would be her best path to freedom; she seems to have played nice with this particular captor which resulted in her release.
Ayling told police that she slept in bed with him at one point and then went along with a shopping trip, looking at shoes and getting groceries with Herba.
According to CNN: “Ayling initially told police that Herba wouldn’t let her leave the house, but when pressed by authorities, she admitted she had gone with him to buy shoes because she felt he was the key to her freedom.
Ayling told police that her kidnapper said she was being released because she had a young child, and that such an abduction contravened the group’s rules.”
These facts led some to doubt her story and accuse her of colluding with the kidnappers or alleging that the kidnapping was a hoax altogether.
Ayling’s lawyer released a statement Tuesday adamantly denying that Ayling played any part in the kidnapping.
‘In a state like that, she was terrified, it’s a 20-year-old woman, in an unknown country. If your captor tells you something, you believe it,’ the lawyer told CNN. ‘She went along with what he asked her to do, look at shoes and buy groceries. This doesn’t make her an accomplice. She decided to go along with it to avoid any kind of conflict, followed him blindly, went into the shoe shop.’
Italian police, who arrested Herba after he dropped Ayling off, stated that there was no evidence of Aylin’s having conspired with her kidnappers.
The auction website, according to investigators, includes prices for kidnapped girls and women, calling them “prey.”
Aying was allegedly told that she was being sold to be a sex slave to someone in the Middle East.
The investigation is still ongoing but Ayling has returned home, stating that she is grateful to the Italian and U.K. Authorities for securing her “safe release.”