An unidentified British Model was recently lured through her modeling agency to an alleged photo shoot in Milan, Italy. However, on arrival, she was drugged and kidnapped, while her abductor put her up for auction with a starting bid of $353,000 on the Dark Web.

Polish man approaches U.K. modeling agency

30-year-old Lukasz Herba, a Polish national, approached the U.K.-based modeling agency that represented the 20-year-old model on July 11, posing as a photographer looking for models for an advertising campaign. As reported by the Italian media outlet, Corriere Della Sera, Herba requested the model for an alleged photo shoot in Milan.

However, when the model turned up in Italy, Herba allegedly kidnapped her, drugging her with the strong anesthetic Ketamine, before handcuffing the model, placing a pillow case over her head and putting her into a suitcase. The kidnapper, who may reportedly have an accomplice, then placed the suitcase in the trunk of his car.

Model put up for auction on the dark web

Herba drove to an events hall in Milan, rented by the kidnapper, where he then held her captive. He later moved the model to a farmhouse close to Turin, some 120 miles away, where she was held captive for six days. In the meantime Herba had put the model up on auction on the dark web, asking a starting figure of $353,000 in Bitcoin.

According to Italian authorities, after possibly not getting any offers online, the kidnapper then began blackmailing the model’s agency, asking for $300,000 in ransom for her return.

At around the same time, the kidnapper had discovered the woman was the mother of a two-year-old child. He may have had a change of heart on learning the news, as he later told Italian police that the criminal organization he worked for does not allow the kidnapping of mothers. He and his partners had decided to find a way to release her back to her home.

Woman released after ransom renegotiated

As reported by the Daily Beast, on receiving the ransom demand from Herba, the U.K. modeling agency contacted the police, whereupon he negotiated with them to return the model for a fee of $60,000, saying he would kill her if they did not comply. She was then dropped by her captors at the British Consulate in Milan on July 17. In the meantime, the staff at the consulate had phoned the police to say a man had called them to say he was dropping off a British woman he had “found.”

Police were then waiting for Herba when he arrived to drop the model off. He was placed under arrest and was arraigned on kidnapping charges on Friday in Milan. His next court hearing is in the fall.