Wife of Norwegian millionaire kidnapped

Norway Tycoon's Wife Missing Ransom Demanded In Cryptocurrency Reports

Wife of Norwegian millionaire kidnapped

Tom Hagen returned home on October 31 to find his wife Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen missing and a ransom note, written in bad Norwegian, threatening to kill her unless he made a payment of €9 million in the crypto currency Monero.

Police were informed about Falkevik Hagen's disappearance on October 31, but did not publicly speak about the incident until Wednesday.

There is no evidence Mrs Falkevik Hagen has been harmed since she disappeared, but officers have also not received any "proof of life", police said. Nonetheless, Norwegian police believe that the suspected kidnappers are targeting Tom Hagen's wealth.

Quoting unnamed sources, Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang reported that the unidentified plotters-whether they are holding Hagen or not-have demanded a ransom of just over $10 million in the Monero cryptocurrency.

Mr Broeske said those behind the kidnap have chosen to communicate digitally and officers have had no other form of contact.

"The family chose to follow the police advice", Svein Holden told reporters.

Many Norwegian media outlets knew of Mrs Falkevik Hagen's disappearance but did not publish any details after the police warned against publicising the kidnap over fears the attackers would harm the victim.

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Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin effectively allow the recipient to receive real money without it being traced.

"The reason for us to go public with this case now is that despite a broad and extensive investigation, we need more information", Broeske told a news conference. Norwegian police have urged Falkevik Hagen's family to not pay the ransom because transactions made in Monero usually can not be traced.

Broske declined to comment further, other than to add that "the threats [in the note] were of a very serious character".

The NRK broadcaster reported that the couple are known for a "secluded lifestyle" centered on their countryside home.

Norwegian authorities are working together with Europol and Interpol on the case.

Kidnappings are rare in Norway, a Scandinavian nation of 5.3 million that prides itself on low crime rates.

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