A Shenzhen agency claims Arnika Kirsch disappeared after going out to get her hair cut The mainland modelling agency embroiled in an alleged hostage and ransom scandal yesterday insisted it was the victim of a 'misunderstanding'. The agency's head booker, Jeffrey Wen Ba, said he was deeply upset by the 'disappearance' of German model Arnika Kirsch, 22, who was rescued after she e-mailed her agent saying she had been kidnapped. 'She told me she was going out to get a haircut and then she disappeared,' he said. 'I can't believe this has happened. This is terrible.' Ms Kirsch was rescued by five ex-military and police officers in a daylight swoop on a flat in central Shenzhen on September 5. The swimsuit model had e-mailed her Swiss-based agent, Raphael Salvi, of Unique modelling agency, saying she and three other girls were being illegally detained and held to ransom by the agency. Mr Salvi immediately contacted the Hong Kong-based hostage recovery outfit Curlewis and Associates. She was flown to her hometown of Munich last Tuesday. Mr Salvi yesterday told the South China Morning Post he still held some misgivings about the modelling agency. He said Ms Kirsch 'does not wish to speak any further about her experience'. A former flatmate of Ms Kirsch, a 17-year-old Brazilian model who introduced herself only as Fabiane, and newly arrived model Alina, from the Ukraine, played down concerns that young women were being guarded or held against their will by the agency. 'She used to be here but now she has gone,' Fabiane said in an interview in a comfortable mainland apartment. 'It is okay, I am happy,' she said. 'China is an interesting place.' Both models and the head booker of the agency denied claims the company was bogus or operating as a front for a high-class hostess and escort service. The leader of the rescue team, Phil Curlewis, said Ms Kirsch had suggested the agency was a sham and part of a wider trend in which attractive models are being taken to the mainland and forced to work as hostesses, escorts or even prostitutes. He said she had appeared to be 'deeply traumatised'. Mr Wen insisted that the modelling agency was a legitimate business and the incident was the result of a 'misunderstanding'. 'The girls are free to come and go as they please - we do not detain them,' he said. 'We are not bogus, we have been operating for three to four years, we send models on shoots all across China.' A spokesman for the modelling agency in Hong Kong that contracted Ms Kirsch said: 'We never accept any erotic or pornographic jobs. 'We are not doing any prostitute jobs ... All these reports are from the imagination of the model.' Mr Wen showed two receipts for $800 which he claimed was provided as pocket money for Ms Kirsch. But he said little when questioned about further allegations by Ms Kirsch that models were forced to pay exorbitant fees and taxes as part of a spiraling debt of servitude. Ms Kirsch, who was contracted by the Hong Kong agency before being taken to the mainland, claimed she was told she owed nearly $7,200 in advances expenses and $8,000 in rent upon arrival her in Shenzhen on August 28.