There was a new development in the Chloe Ayling kidnapping saga when the police took into custody a second suspect, Michal Konrad Herba.
The 36-year-old is the brother of the main suspect, already arrested by the Italian Police, Lukasz Pawel Herba.
According to police, Michal was also part of the overall conspiracy to kidnap the British model Chloe Ayling from Milan, where she was lured into a photoshoot session.
The second arrest was made from Birmingham, in the U.K.
A Strange Episode in Milan
The whole kidnapping case of the young model—her captivity and subsequent release—has been quite an interesting sequence of events, at times bordering on the incredible.
To start with, Ayling was offered a contract to come for a photoshoot in Italy.
Her agent said the antecedents of the person offering the contract was verified, and only then the arrangement was agreed upon.
However, the model went through an ordeal; being abducted, put inside a sleeping bag and being repeatedly drugged before being mysteriously released at the British Consulate in Milan after six days in captivity.
The reason cited for the release was that her abductors came to know she is the mother of a baby, and that factor conflicted with the standards of their sex trafficking operation.
Human Trafficking Sales on the Dark Web
The Chloe Ayling abduction and subsequent arrests have shown that the dark web is used to trade in human trafficking, alongside other illegal activities like drugs and arms dealing.
The 20-year-old British model was reportedly offered for $300,000 on one of the darknet sites, which suggests a demand in human trafficking deals online.
Otherwise, the Herba brothers would not have staged this abduction so boldly.
Of course, new details may emerge as the Italian police carry out these investigations.
Initial reports said that the police suspect a gang of 10-12 people were involved.
They have made only two arrests so far.
There must have been an Italian connection as well.
Kidnapping Ayling in a car from Milan to some place outside Turin and holding her in captivity for days would not have been possible without the involvement of more people, particularly in Italy.
Details disclosed so far have indicated that there is a group called the Black Death that orchestrates the trafficking and then lists these women up for sale online.
The Two Brothers Worked Together
The second arrest of Michal Herba, which happened weeks after the arrest of his brother Lukasz, appears to indicate that the police had obtained confirmation of his involvement with his brother in the abduction, during the course of their investigations.
At least this is what Ayling’s lawyer believes. According to him, the brothers were colluding in the act.
Threat Letter After Release
After her release, the British model received a threat letter stating that she would be killed if she disclosed any details to the police.
The letter also requested a ransom to be paid in Bitcoins.
This development indicates there’s a high chance that the perpetrators are part of an organized crime gang involved in human trafficking.
Some Suspicions Did Linger
The days just after the model was abducted and released, the British media raised questions regarding the credibility of her story.
Some pointed to photographs taken of her going around shopping along with one of her captors, and that her captivity was being fabricated so she could gain publicity from the media attention.
However, the Italian police seem to have absolved Ayling of any such involvement in the crime, and that she happened to be a victim of an organized group’s nefarious activities.
The Italian police have also apparently found that Herba had planned the kidnapping well in advance, as evidenced by photographs of Ayling they recovered from his computer and mobile phone.
It is reported he had been stalking her for several months.
There are even reports that the police stumbled across three other cases in which more women were kidnapped under similar circumstances.