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    UK Agrees to Extradite Man Who Claimed Dark Web Kidnap in Italy Was a 'Sham'

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    A judge has ruled the brother of a man arrested for kidnapping a British model should be extradited to Italy. Michal Herba's lawyer had claimed the whole "kidnap" plot could have been a "publicity stunt."

    On Friday, September 29, a judge in London has ordered a Polish man to be extradited to Italy for his alleged role in the kidnap of British model Chloe Ayling.

    Earlier in the week, on September 25, a lawyer for Michal Herba suggested the whole plot could be a "sham," invented as a "publicity stunt."

    ​Herba's brother, Lukasz, was arrested in Italy in July in connection with the abduction of Ms. Ayling, who was reportedly set to be auctioned off on the dark web to buyers in the Middle East.

    Michal Herba 36, from Tividale in the West Midlands, denies conspiring with his brother or having any involvement in the incident.

    @annafowlerphotog @ruthlilyreynolds 🌺

    A post shared by Chloe Ayling (@chloeayling) on Sep 20, 2017 at 2:09pm PDT

    His lawyer, George Hepburne Scott, told an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday the case had a "set of anomalies."

    "There is a real risk that the entire case is a sham. The same complainant, it seems, generated publicity from the fact she was near the scene of a terrorist attack at the Champs-Elysees in Paris," said Mr. Hepburne Scott.

    "Prior to the release of the complainant, the kidnapper apparently issued a press release to a tabloid newspaper setting out that this lady was being held for auction," he told the court on Monday.

    "This case has a unique set of anomalies which might lead to the conclusion that the Italian authorities have been duped and that their process has been abused," added Mr. Scott.

    But District Judge Paul Goldspring said Mr Hepburne Scott had not produced enough evidence to support his claim the kidnap was a "sham."

    A post shared by Chloe Ayling (@chloeayling) on Sep 28, 2017 at 11:57am PDT

    Speaking after Friday's hearing, Mr Hepburne Scott said the Italian authorities had refused to hear his evidence by videolink.

    "They have refused to hear his evidence and instead persisted with this coercive extradition request. He was confident that once he told the Italian authorities the whole truth behind this case they would drop their extradition request. However, they refused this offer," he said.

    Florence Iveson, on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, said a court in Milan had requested Michal Herba's extradition in connection with events between July 11 and 17.

    The 'Terrifying' Abduction

    Miss Ayling said she was lured to a fake photographic studio in Milan, before being overpowered and bundled into a bag.

    She was driven for three hours to a house in the village of Borgial, close to the French border and told she was going to be sold on the dark web.

    An organization known as Black Death claimed credit for abducting her and were planning to auction her off for 300,000 euros (US$355,000) but one of her kidnappers is understood to have changed his mind when he discovered she had a young child.

    Miss Ayling said she was told the Black Death group took girls for the "Arab market" and was also told when those who bought the girls lost interest in them they fed them to tigers.

    "I've been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour," said Miss. Ayling at the time.

    Up to 80 percent of the internet is said to be hidden in what is known as the dark web, or deep web.

    It is a mysterious place which cannot be accessed via traditional search engines. In other words, it is collection of websites that are publicly visible, but hide the IP addresses of the servers that run them.

    Drugs and firearms are known to be on sale on the dark web, and it is also widely used by pedophile groups.

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    Tags:
    kidnap, publicity stunt, model, ransom, crime, dark web, kidnapping, Westminster, Italy, Poland, London
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