Monday, 25 March, 2019

Ransom sought as Norwegian millionaire's wife kidnapped

Kidnappers in Norway demand $10M Monero ransom for millionaire's wife After the demand for ransom in monero – police urge family not to pay
Jeannette Daniel | 09 January, 2019, 15:55

The wife of a Norwegian multimillionaire missing for 10 weeks has probably been kidnapped and a ransom has been demanded for her release, police have said.

68-year-old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik disappeared on October 31.

Married to a real estate and energy magnate, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, 68, disappeared on October 31, police said.

Police said a note found in the couple's house, east of Oslo where they lived "a rather anonymous lifestyle", according to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, described what would happen to her if the demanded ransom wasn't paid in the cryptocurrency Monero.

News of the months-long disappearance was first reported by the newspaper Aftenposten early on Wednesday, which said it had known about the case for some time but had chosen not to publish details to protect Mrs Hagen. Norwegian police have also engaged worldwide counterparts in Interpol and Europol as part of the probe.

According to the daily newspaper Verdens Gang, the ransom demand was for €9m (£8m) in the cryptocurrency Monero.

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Such events are extremely rare in the wealthy Scandinavian country, which enjoys a generally low crime rate.

This has reportedly prevented the police from searching for the kidnappers as aggressively as they would normally have done, while also limiting their ability to gather evidence in the vicinity of the couple's residence outside of Oslo.

"The reason for us to go public with this case now is that despite a broad and extensive investigation, we need more information", he told a news conference.

Brøske said investigators had had "very limited" contacts with the purported kidnappers online, but refused to disclose the date of the most recent contact.

Hagen's husband, Tom, was ranked number 172 in financial magazine Kapital's list of Norway's top 400 richest people.

A real estate investor, he owns 70 per cent of electricity company Elkraft which he co-founded in 1992, Norwegian media reported.

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