$10 million in Monero [XMR] demanded by kidnappers as ransom in Norway

April FrancisJan 10, 2019

The wife of a Norwegian multi-millionaire businessman has been missing for months after being abducted, police have now confirmed.

The investigation has been continuing since then, police said, but was given "a low profile" because "very serious threats have been made".

"There has been demand for ransom, and serious threats have been made in this case", Police Inspector Tommy Broeske said at a press conference.

He urged the family not to pay the ransom money and said that the people behind the kidnapping "have chosen to communicate digitally and we have had no other type of contact".

The estimated value of the family is estimated to be around $199 million, and are listed as the 172nd richest family in the country by Norway's financial Magazine, Kapital.

Police have been investigating the case discreetly for several weeks but decided to make it public in the hope that someone would come forward with information, Broske said.

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who is married to businessman Tom Hagen, disappeared on October 31 a year ago from her home in Lorenskog.

According to daily Verdens Gang, the ransom demand was for nine million euros ($10.3 million) in the cryptocurrency Monero.

Police work outside of the house of of Norwegian multi-millionaire Tom Hagen in Fjellhamar East of Oslo
Police work outside of the house of of Norwegian multi-millionaire Tom Hagen in Fjellhamar East of Oslo

The police chose to go public with the case after ten weeks because they wanted more information pertaining the case.

"We have no suspects in this case".

Police had no indication whether Falkevik Hagen was dead or alive.

It has also been reported that there had been limited contact between police and the suspects with the only communication sent through encrypted digital platforms.

He declined to say whether such a process could eventually lead to a ransom being paid. "It is demanding and exhausting to be in such a situation over a long period of time", he said.

Police believe she disappeared from the couple's home, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Swedish border.

"The family sees this as a cruel and inhumane act", lawyer Svein Holden told reporters. Norwegian police have also engaged global counterparts in Interpol and Europol as part of the probe.

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