Police in Italy say a 30-year-old Polish man lured a British model to a fake photo shoot in Milan last month before drugging her, bundling her into in a suitcase and holding her for “the best offer on pornography sites.”
Lukasz Pawel Herba, who has British residency, was arrested July 18 and jailed for investigation of suspected kidnapping for extortion purposes.
The unidentified 20-year-old woman’s ordeal was detailed in a statement released by Milan police headquarters.
The woman had arrived in the city on July 10 and was supposed to do the photography session the next day, the statement said. A photographer had booked the session through the model’s agent, but as soon as she stepped inside the Milan apartment for the appointment, she was attacked by two men, according to the police account.
“The kidnappers loaded the suitcase with the girl (inside) into a car trunk” and drove to a rural home in a hamlet outside Turin, the statement said. In the house, “the model was kept handcuffed to a wooden dresser in a bedroom” until she was released on July 17, the police said.
Police suspect Herba advertised the “sale” of the woman online, while at the same time demanding ransom from the woman’s agent of $300,000 (about 260,000 euros).
The suspect was arrested the day after he allegedly released the woman and dropped her off at the British consulate in Milan, police said.
Milan daily Corriere della Sera reported the kidnapper let his victim go because he discovered she had a child and considered her unsuitable for the sex trade. But police spokesman Lorenzo Bucossi told reporters it was unclear why the woman was released.
Authorities said as far as they know, no ransom was paid. An investigation is being conducted in Poland and Britain as well as in Italy. Investigators are trying to determine if the suspect had accomplices and was mainly after ransom, or was trying to defraud someone who might have been willing to pay money online for the woman, police said.
They didn’t identify the model’s agent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.