'She's been through hell': Friend speaks of British model's ordeal after she was 'kidnapped to be sold in online auction'

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The family of a British model who was abducted to be sold online thought they would never see her again, a friend has said.

The 20-year-old mother was reportedly lured to a fake photo shoot in Milan before she was stuffed into a bag after being drugged.  

It is believed two men tried to sell her on the internet for more than $300,000 – or £230,000 – and demanded ransom money from her agent to ensure her safe release.

She was kept handcuffed to furniture but was freed and taken to the British embassy in Milan, Italy’s capital city, despite the ransom not being paid.

According to The Sunday Mirror, a family friend of the young woman said: “They thought they would never see her alive again. She has been through hell. We just want to get her home.”

It has been reported that the captor demanded £50,000 upon the woman’s release and threatened to kill her if she told police about the incident. 

A 30-year-old Polish man, said to be a resident in Britain, was arrested on July 18 on suspicion of kidnap and extortion, state police said. 

Italian police said they are working with officials in Britain and Poland as they continue to investigate.

A photo from the Italian police shows the inside of the house where the British model was held captive. (AFP/Getty Images)

The Mirror reported that an “advert”, which features a disturbing image of the woman, was posted on the dark web.

It reportedly includes a list of a series of horrifying promises about the women they traffic, and a list of the model’s personal details.

The gang of traffickers are said to have boasted they could “kidnap a specific target for your needs” and offer free “EU delivery” of their victims.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We have been providing consular support to a British woman in Italy and are in touch with local authorities.”

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