A 20-year-old British model was reportedly kidnapped, stuffed in a bag and held hostage for almost a week as her captors planned to auction her in the dark web. Maria Mercedes Galuppo (@mariamgaluppo) has more.
LONDON — Chloe Ayling’s ordeal sounds like a tale spawned by nightmares of the evil that lurks online.
The 20-year-old British model says she was lured to Italy with the promise of a photo shoot, then drugged, stuffed into a suitcase, transported to an isolated farmhouse and held, at times in handcuffs, for almost a week.
Ayling has told police the “terrifying experience” ended when her captor, who had threatened to hold her for ransom or advertise her as sex slave on the criminal “dark web,” decided instead to drop her off at the British consulate in Milan.
As made-for-the movies as the young woman’s account sounds, Italian police have arrested a suspect: a 30-year-old Polish man who claimed to be a paid killer for a group called the Black Death.
The lawyer Ayling has while the case is under investigation — standard procedure in Italy — acknowledged Monday that aspects of the case seem bizarre. He said investigators initially had “more than understandable doubts” about the model’s story.
“It seems incredible,” lawyer Francesco Pesce told the Associated Press — “a man kidnaps, together with others, a girl, and after a week, citing particular reasons, accompanies her inside a consulate … (and) practically hands her over to police.”
“This at first was doubted also by investigators — but the story later turned out to…