Boxed In: Kidnapped Fashion Model Held For Ransom By Sex Traffickers

“…only a small hole that allowed me to breathe.”

A British model has been released after having been kidnapped and threatened with being sold online as a sex slave, Italian authorities said Saturday.

Chloe Ayling said she was held for six days by a gang known as Black Death and was told that unless she paid $300,000 in ransom she would be sold through an online auction.

The Daily Mail reported that she was released “because she had a 2-year-old child” and the group’s “rules exclude kidnapping mothers.”

In what Ayling said was a letter given to her upon her release, Black Death said a “mistake” had been made but that she was freed after one gang member made “a clear and solid stance in your case.”

The letter given to her by the group suggested the group would be watching her.

“You are being released as a huge generosity from Black Death Group. Your release does, however, come with a warning, and you should read this letter very carefully. You are certainly aware of your value on human slavery market (sic) and must make a note that this isn’t personal, this is business. For your release we have taken a number of factors into consideration,” the letter said.

 “You will, upon your landing in your home country, cease any investigation activities related to your kidnapping. You also agreed to sneak a pre-determined set of information in to the media and we will expect to see evidence that has been done in the near future,” the letter said.

“You have also agreed to pay outstanding costs of your release of $50,000. We expect that money to be paid in BitCoins within one month. Any sort of disobedience with the above will result in your elimination,” the letter said.

Ayling said she had been held in Turin, Italy. She was freed in Milan, where police arrested one man in connection with her kidnapping.

Lukasz Pawel Herba, a Polish citizen and British resident, was arrested on suspicion of being a kidnapper.

“The woman was taken by one of the kidnappers to the British consulate,” said Milan police officer Lorenzo Bucossi. “We arrived there just in time to catch him, who was escaping.”

Ayling, 20, said her “terrifying experience” began when she was lured to a Milan building for a fake photo shoot.

“A person wearing black gloves came up from behind and put one hand on my neck and the other on my mouth, while a second person, wearing a black balaclava, injected me in my right arm,” she said.

“I think I lost consciousness,” she said. “When I woke up I was wearing a pink bodysuit and the socks I’m in now. I realized I was in the boot (trunk) of a car, with my wrists and ankles tied and my mouth taped. I was inside a (suitcase), with only a small hole that allowed me to breathe.”

Ayling said the car in which she rode stopped several times while her kidnappers tried to silence her.

For six days, she said, she was kept handcuffed to a chest of drawers while kidnappers demanded a ransom. Police claim the kidnappers set up online auctions to sell Ayling.

“I’ve been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour,” she said. “I am incredibly grateful to the Italian and UK authorities for all they have done to secure my safe release.”

(H/T Western Journalism)

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