A British model who was put up for auction online after being kidnapped in Milan, according to Italian police.
Following Herba's sentencing, police in Italy revealed the woman was attacked and chloroformed (the drug has anaesthetic qualities and can be used to knock people out) by two men in Milan on July 11 as she attended a photo shoot, which police believe was a setup staged by her captors.
The model, who has not been named, was reportedly sent by her United Kingdom agent to Milan for a photo shoot on July 11 and when she arrived at the studio near the city's central railway station she was anaesthetised with the powerful drug Ketamine injected into her arm.
The police say the man, Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30, a Polish citizen who lives in the United Kingdom, was charged with kidnapping for extortion purposes.
Police say they are still unclear whether the kidnappers were running an online scam to con "buyers" out of money or whether they actually meant to sell her on.
Corriere della Serra said the suspect discovered the model had a young child and considered her unsuitable for sex trafficking.
Police say it is unclear whether he had really abducted the victims or invented them for the auction.
It added that she had been let go after one of its men made "a clear and solid stance in your case".
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Milan police officer Lorenzo Bucossi told reporters the group the suspect was allegedly working for offered "mercenary services" on the dark web.
Officers went through Herba's phone and computer and said they found photos of the woman and material stating she was for sale, while hair from both the model and Herba was found in the boot of his auto.
The police investigation into the network is ongoing.
The woman's modelling agency then contacted police and Herba reportedly negotiated a ransom for about USD$60,000 ($75,000) with them.
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