The brother of the man who allegedly kidnapped British model Chloe Ayling to sell her as a sex slave on the dark web has been arrested in the English West Midlands.
Michal Konrad Herba, 36, was arrested at an address in Tividale on Wednesday in a joint operation by West Midlands Police and East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).
He was apprehended on a European Arrest Warrant issued by Italian police, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on August 17.
Michal is the brother of chief suspect Lukasz Pawel Herba, who has been charged with kidnapping and extortion after Ayling was reportedly abducted in Milan.
The 20-year-old model from South London claims she arrived in Italy on July 10, and that she was kidnapped on the outskirts of Italy’s fashion capital by a group known as ‘Black Death,’ which planned to sell her as a sex slave in the Middle East.
Ayling claims she was drugged with ketamine before being stuffed into a sack and transported to an isolated village near Turin.
She was released on July 17.
Lukasz denies knowingly taking part in any crime, but Italian police documents revealed he was involved in Ayling’s abduction in order to raise funds for his cancer treatment.
He reportedly told investigators he planned to sell Ayling as a sex slave on the dark web for £270,000 ($350,000) before he realized she had a two-year-old child.
Lukasz claims he released the woman at the British Consulate in Milan before the sale went ahead.
Questions, however, have been raised over whether Ayling was complicit in a fake kidnapping after it emerged she went shoe-shopping with her abductor and had met him during a business meeting in Paris earlier this year.
In her first TV interview on ITV’s This Morning, the 20-year-old defended herself against the allegations.
“It is really hurtful to see people doubt my story,” she said.
“Like when I went shoe-shopping apparently, which was to the camping shop to get shoes for the consulate, people were saying why didn’t I run?
“But then it’s easy for them to say that but when you’re actually in my situation it’s not that easy.
“I was with an assassin that’s always armed, I’d been shown knives, so I couldn’t just try and put my life in the hands of a random Italian woman.
“If I couldn’t communicate with her, or she didn’t care, then I’d risk my life,” the model said.