Man arrested over British model kidnapped in Italy

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian police said on Saturday they had arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of abducting a British model in Milan and threatening to auction her online unless a ransom of $300,000 was paid.

Police said in a statement the 20-year-old Briton had arrived in Milan on July 10 for an alleged photo shoot arranged through her agent.

But when she reached the studio the next day she was assaulted and drugged, then placed in a car boot and taken to a small village near Turin where she was kept prisoner by Lukasz Pawel Herba, a British resident born in Poland, police said.

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British model kidnapped in Italy
A person taking part in a reenactment by Italian police shows how a kidnapped British model was kept in a bag, in this handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan on August 5, 2017. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. PICTURE WAS MASKED AT SOURCE.
A bag used to keep a kidnapped British model prisoner is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A vehicle used in the kidnapping of a British model is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. PICTURE MASKED AT SOURCE.
Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A screenshot of an internet page on a laptop belonging to Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, shows a balaclava purchase, in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A fake identity card with a different name belonging to Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. The text on right read, "Purchased on the Internet. Fake identity card." Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A bag used to keep a kidnapped British model prisoner is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan, Italy. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Items found at a fake studio where a British model was kidnapped are seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan, Italy. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Handcuffs used to keep a kidnapped British model prisoner is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan, Italy. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A fake studio where a British model was kidnapped is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan, Italy. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A vehicle, which police say was purchased in Poland and used in the kidnapping of a British model, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan, Italy. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. PICTURE MASKED AT SOURCE.
The interior of a house in a small village near Turin where police say a kidnapped British model was held, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
The interior of a house in a small village near Turin where police say a kidnapped British model was held, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
The exterior of a house in a small village near Turin where police say a kidnapped British model was held, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A screenshot of a document on a laptop belonging to Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, shows information on the kidnapping and auctioning of girls, in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A screenshot of a "Black Death Group" document on a laptop belonging to Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper of a British model, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A flyer for the "Black Death Group", which police say was found in a shop used as a pretend photographer's studio in Milan, where a British model was kidnapped, is seen in this August 5, 2017 handout picture provided by the Italian Police in Milan, Italy. The information on left, provided by Italian Police, reads, "During the kidnapping, Herba, using encrypted accounts, asked the model's agent to pay $300,000 to avoid auctioning her online. Herba pretended to be a member of the 'Black Death Group', an organisation of the deep web." Herba refers to arrested suspect Lukasz Pawel Herba. Polizia Di Stato/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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Herba freed her on July 17 and accompanied her to the British consulate in Milan where, according to newspaper Corriere della Sera, he was arrested by police who had been alerted by the model's agent and were investigating the kidnapping.

During her detention, Herba had demanded the agent pay $300,000 to avoid the model being sold online though no ransom appears to have been paid, police said.

(Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Jason Neely)

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