An Instagram model who was kidnapped by men attempting to sell her off as a sex slave on the black market has spoken out about the terror of the experience.
Speaking to The Telegraph, 20-year-old Chloe Ayling has explained how she was drugged with ketamine, gagged and handcuffed before being shoved in the boot of a car.
Ms Ayling arrived at an abandoned building in Milan on July 11, when it quickly became clear that it was not the photoshoot she had been promised.
"A person wearing black gloves came from behind and put one hand on my neck and one on my mouth to stop me from screaming," she said.
"A second person wearing a black balaclava gave me an injection in my right forearm. I think I lost consciousness. When I woke up I was wearing a pink bodysuit.
"I realised I was in the boot of a car with my wrists and ankles handcuffed, adhesive tape on my mouth. I was inside a bag and was only able to breathe through a small hole."
Ms Ayling didn't yet know, but she was in the hands of an online group who were about to sell her off as a sex slave. She was taken to a house on the Italy-France border, where they threatened her life and left her chained to a chest of drawers without food for three days.
Ms Ayling said they took explicit photos of her to post on the dark web to attract bidders - but after several days, realised that she was a young mother. That violated the rules of the group, so they tried to ransom Ms Ayling to her agent for £270,000 ($475,000).
After a week the price dropped to £50,000 ($88,000), and once the kidnapper dropped her off at the British Consulate in Milan to be picked up, they arrested him.
Polish man Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30, allegedly masterminded the attack, which Italian police said was an intricate scheme that involved months of planning.
Ms Ayling alleges he told her he had earned £11.5 million ($20.2 million) from selling women to bidders, mainly in the Middle East, over five years.
Giving a statement from her London home, Ms Ayling said she was thankful for the work of police for getting her out of the frightening scenario.
"I've been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour," she said.
"I am incredibly grateful to the Italian and UK authorities for all they have done to secure my safe release."