Members of the criminal group called the Black Death Group have kidnapped and tried to auction 20-year-old British model Chloe Ayling to the highest bidder online, Telegraph reports.
The kidnappers asked a starting price of slightly over $350,000 in the form of the digital currency Bitcoin for Ayling.
The 20-year-old model was sent by her modeling agency to Milan, Italy for a scheduled photo shoot to be part of an ad project. However, when she arrived at an apartment where the photo shoot will take place, she was attacked by two men and was drugged using the powerful sedative called ketamine.
The kidnappers then taped her mouth, handcuffed her wrists and ankles, covered her head with a pillowcase and was stuffed into a suitcase. She was then transported to a rented house in the tiny village of Borgial where she was handcuffed to a wooden chest of drawers.
There, she was again drugged and photographed, with her images being posted to a secret website on the Dark Web for interested bidders. She was being sold for sexual slavery.
In an interview, Ayling said that she was a bit lucky because the kidnappers decided to set her free. It turned out that the group has a rule that they will not kidnap mothers. Ayling already had a young son.
“I was not meant to be taken because the boss had seen my Instagram profile which clearly showed that I was a mum with a young boy and this went against the rules of the organization. […] Despite being upset with my kidnapping, he explained that this imprisonment could not stop because in the meantime the organization had published in the deep web two photos taken shortly after the aggression while I was unconscious, showing the publication on a…. site called Black Death.”
The police were able to arrest one of Ayling’s kidnapper, who was identified as Lukasz Pawel Herba, a Polish national.
Crimes related Bitcoin extortion has been on the rise considering the increasing value of the cryptocurrency.
In fact, FBI reported a total $3.3 bln in damages and losses were attributed to cyber crimes and criminal activities related to Bitcoin extortion.