Chloe Ayling is a 20-year-old model who claims she was a terrifying abduction ordeal in which the kidnappers, Italian police say, planned to auction her off on the Internet.
However, new questions have arisen as police further probe the story, revolving around everything from a shoe shopping trip to contradictions in the model’s account. Daily Mail reports that Italian police are investigating whether the model collaborated with the suspect, who tried to sell the story to a tabloid during the purported kidnapping.
However, La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, reported “That the kidnapping was real or that she was doped with ketamine is not put into question by the investigators. But it is also tremendously true that many details do not add up.’ Other Italian media have questioned parts of her story.”
Lukasz Herba, a Polish-born British man, is accused in the kidnapping and drugging of the British model in Italy and then trying to sell her online for Bitcoin. The Guardian published an alleged advertisement for Ayling for a July 16 auction that read, “Girls can be transported globally, we have contractors for that, for a price … EU delivery is free, might take time dependant (sic) on current location and drop-off point.”
The investigation into what happened to Ayling – who was identified by British media sites – has led into the deepest recesses of the Web. Italian police say that Herba may be part of a crime syndicate known as “The Black Death,” which has been rumored for some time without clear evidence that it really exists. Italian police have released a series of very detailed crime scene photos in the bizarre case, which you can see below. Herba lived alone in an apartment in Birmingham, England, The Sun reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ayling Was Put Up For Auction On the ‘Dark Web,’ According to Claims & Is an ‘International Model’ Who Poses Topless
Italian police initially said that Herba tried to auction Chloe off on the “dark web” after her abduction.
The model was “put up for auction for a huge amount of money on the dark web,” according to UK Mirror. The British news site says the asking price was €300,000 Bitcoin.
Chloe is a Page Three model.
On Twitter, Ayling has posted numerous modeling shots, including some of herself topless. She defines herself as an “international model.”
However, oddities have arisen in the case since the initial Italian police account.
Authorities now say that Ayling’s “captives fed the stunner talking points about the group to give the media upon her release,” The New York Daily News reports.
“The letter, written in English, laid out a series of demands made of Ayling upon her release. The note also suggested that despite the snatch-and-drug caper, the kidnapping was intended to be used as a publicity event for the group,” Daily News reports.
2. The Drug Ketamine Was Injected Into the Arm of the Model, Who Is Now Speaking About the Ordeal
Chloe was drugged during the horrific ordeal, Italian police said.
According to The Mirror, it was claimed that the drug Ketamine was injected into her arm to facilitate the abduction.
The drug causes muscle paralysis, Mirror reports. Mirror reports that Chloe has now waived anonymity and is speaking publicly about what happened. She told the British news site she still needed to be debriefed by police and added, that she has not “had time to gather my thoughts” because “I have just arrived home after four weeks.”
According to The Guardian, Ayling gave a statement to Italian police that read in part, “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. I think I lost consciousness. When I woke up I was wearing a pink bodysuit and the socks I’m in now. I realised I was in the boot of a car, with my wrists and ankles tied and my mouth taped. I was inside a bag, with only a small hole that allowed me to breathe.”
3. A Rumored Crime Syndicate Called the ‘Black Death’ May Be Selling Women Online
Italian media report that police say the kidnapping may be tied to a crime syndicate called “The Black Death.” However, it’s unclear whether the syndicate really exists.
The Italian language newspaper Da Corriere Milao reports that “horrible, ingenious scammers or online scouts of sex, the ‘Black Death’ international criminal group might not really exist, despite an official Europol report accrediting that the ‘deep web’ puts at auction young girls kidnapped to be used sexually from buyers who offer more to kidnappers.”
However, reports the site, the kidnapping of the model in Milan lends credence to the possibility the syndicate is real, and police recovered a Black Death pamphlet as part of the investigation into the model’s abduction.
However, new questions have arisen in connection with the abduction. Daily Mail reports that the model “was taken on a shopping trip for shoes.”
According to Daily Mail, the model has claimed the abductor “did not sexually assault her but instead gave her gifts of chocolate and underwear.”
Milano Repubblica reported that the model burst into tears when Italian police asked her about the shoe shopping excursion.
Daily Mail reported that contradictions have been highlighted in Italian media; for example, a claim that “the kidnappers make ‘an injection into the right forearm’, even though she is wearing a ‘long-sleeved, pink, leather jacket.'”
4. The Model Was Lured With a Fictional Photo Shoot
The abductors lured the model with a fake story about a photo shoot and then took her to a farmhouse near Turin for a week, the claim goes, according to Da Corriere Milano.
The model from the British agency was drawn to a location near Central Station in Milan with the story. Then, she was shoved into a car trunk, “waking up handcuffed to the furniture of a room, photographed and offered to the web in a sale that would be opened on Sunday following with an auction base of 300 thousand euros in bitcoin electronic money,” the site reported.
According to UK Daily Mail, the kidnappers have a rule against kidnapping mothers and changed their mind when they learned the model has a child.
5. It’s Not the First Time That Chloe Was Caught Up in an International Incident
Chloe hasn’t had the best experiences as a model.
According to UK Mirror, “Just a few months ago Chloe was also said to be caught up in Paris’s Champs-Elysees shopping street attack where a Kalashnikov-wielding murder killed a police officer and seriously wounded two others. The then 19-year-old model had arrived in the French capital for a photoshoot in April and, according to a spokesman for her modelling agency, was walking along the famous city strand when the incident unfolded.”
According to UK Daily Mail, Herba is accused by Italian police of confessing to the crime.
The Polish-born man was named as the model’s captor by police, according to the British news site. He is also accused of having sex with the model, UK Daily Mail reports. He went by the name Daniel Zawada in a passport, police said.