Model kidnapped by Black Death Group: Who are they and do they exist?

Model kidnapped by Black Death Group: Who are they and do they exist?
Screenshot of the "Black Death Group" document on a laptop belonging to Lukasz Pawel Herba, the suspected kidnapper.
PHOTO: AFP

The abduction of a British model in Italy has opened up questions on the group supposedly behind her kidnapping.

Her alleged kidnapper told police that he was going to auction her off as a sex slave on the dark web. He claimed to be part of a criminal web-based group called "Black Death Group".

Who are they?

A letter obtained by the police said the group had released 20-year-old Chloe Ayling because her capture was a mistake and they don't kidnap young mothers, reported The Mirror. Chloe is the mother of a two-year-old.

The group allegedly operate on the dark web offering any criminal service such as sex slavery and illegal weapons.

They also seem to use Bitcoin currencies as stated in the letter that demanded Chloe for a release payment.

Whether real or not, this revelation has shaken up the internet, and the safety of young models.

What is the dark web?

The dark web is part of the world wide web that requires special software for access, according to iflscience.com.

The internet consists of three layers, reports The Sun, where the surface is what people like us can readily access, and the deep web where passwords or authorisations are needed for access and things won't show up when searched.

And there's the dark web where online activity is untraceable and in order to access their websites, you need special software and authorisations making it a great place for illegal activity.

The Independent reported that "the National Crime Agency has said the use of the dark web 'as an international market place for firearms, drugs and indecent images of children' is continuing to rise."

The Mirror also pointed out that many transactions on the dark web tend to be with Bitcoin as it's very difficult to trace.

The upside to the dark web is that it "offers a safe, anonymous way to access the internet for those living in countries where you could be arrested for online activity", added The Independent report.

Hunt on for accomplices in kidnap of British model in Italy for online sex slave auction

Does this group really exist?

While the possibility of this group being unreal and whether kidnapper Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30, has made the whole elaborate thing up still remains to be verified.

In 2015, an article on Vice claimed that it had contacted the group but there were too many holes in the story for it to be fully legitimate. Even Vice concluded that it was difficult to determine whether the group was real or not.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

on SPH Brightcove

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