A British model who was kidnapped and held hostage for six days as her abductor tried to sell her online for €300,000 (£270,710; $353,223) in bitcoin has been identified as Chloe Ayling.

The 20-year-old woman, who described herself on her Instagram page as an "international model" was lured to the house of her abductor in Milan, Italy, after she responded to a fake modelling advert in July.

After two men assaulted her and drugged her, she was taken to a farmhouse in Borgial di Lemie, near Turin, where she was kept for six days.

Ayling, mother of a two-year-old child, has now returned to London following the dramatic experience.

The only person arrested so far is Polish-national Lukasz Herba who, according to the model, told her he had earned €15 million over five years of selling women, many of whom were destined for Arab countries.

The suspect was apprehended as he took the model to the British consulate in Milan. He initially claimed he was part of an organisation called Black Death, which operates on the dark web, a section of the internet that people can use anonymously.

Herba – described by authorities as a "mythomaniac" – also claimed he had been paid to kidnap the girl by three Birmingham-based Romanian people, Italian news site TG COM 24 reported.

However, he claimed when he saw that they were trying to sell the girl online, he decided to free her.

Ayling explained that, during he captivity, the abductors threatened to auction her online, but one of them, believed to be Herba, told her they had made a mistake seizing her because she was the mother of a young child.

He explained this was against the rules of his organisation, which is apparently not allowed to kidnap and sell mothers.

Ayling, who has appeared in the Daily Star, explained she and Herba a few months earlier on a shoot that was later aborted in Paris, the Telegraph reported.

In a statement to Italian police, the model recalled her kidnapping: "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," the woman said in a statement to the police," she explained.

"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 and the socks I am wearing now.

"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."

It is not clear yet why the girl was released.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported the woman was told she could be freed if a ransom of €50,000 (£45,000, $58,000) was paid.

Investigators said there are several confusing details that need to be clarified.

Authorities in Italy, Poland and Great Britain are investigating the case. They believe no ransom was paid for the release of the girl, news agency Ansa reported.

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