Italian police say they have arrested a 30-year-old man who allegedly abducted a British model in Milan before trying to auction her off as a sex slave. She was drugged and held captive in a northwestern Italian village.
A Polish citizen with British residency was charged with suspected kidnapping for extortion purposes, police said Saturday.
Spokesman Lorenzo Bucossi told reporters the 20-year-old woman, who has not been named, had come to Milan for what she thought was a photo shoot on July 11. But when she arrived at the studio, she was attacked by two men and injected with a tranquilizer, before being bundled into a suitcase and driven to a rural home in the tiny village of Borgial.
"The model was kept handcuffed to a wooden dresser in a bedroom" for six days, a police statement said.
A woman taking part in a re-enactment by Italian police shows how a kidnapped British model was held in a suitcase
During the woman's detention, the suspect allegedly stripped and photographed her so that she could "be sold to the best offer on pornography sites," the statement added. The suspect also allegedly demanded the model's agent pay a ransom of $300,000 (about 260,000 euros).
The suspect eventually freed his hostage on July 17 and accompanied her to the British consulate in Milan where he was later arrested by police. Authorities said no ransom appeared to have been paid and it was unclear why the woman had been released.
According to Milan daily Corriere della Sera, the suspect let his victim go after he discovered she had a young child and deemed her unsuitable for the sex trade.
A probe into the case is being conducted in Poland, Britain and Italy. Investigators said they were working to determine whether the suspect had any accomplices.
nm/tj (Reuters, AP, AFP)