Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Ransom sought as Norwegian millionaire's wife kidnapped

Ransom sought as Norwegian millionaire's wife kidnapped

Norwegian police confirmed that "a woman in her late 60s is believed to have been kidnapped from her home in Lorenskog", around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Oslo, but did not disclose her identity.

Business magazine Kapital estimated Tom Hagen's net worth at around €175m.

A note was found demanding the ransom is paid in the cryptocurrency Monero and explaining what would happen if the money is not delivered.

He said investigators chose to release detailed information in the hope that someone may come forward with information that could help them solve the case.

The house (C) of Norwegian real estate investor Tom Hagen and his wife Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who according to the authorities is suspected to have been kidnapped, in Fjellhamar, Norway, Jan. 9, 2019.

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The Norwegian police have reportedly been forced to use civilian cars with fake license numbers when moving in the area around the couple's residence outside of Oslo, in order not to arouse suspicion in case the suspected kidnappers might have been watching.

On Wednesday morning, as Aftenposten published its report, police put a cordon around the couple's home.

There has been no evidence since she disappeared that Mrs Hagen is safe, police say.

Family lawyer, Svein Holden, told reporters: 'The family sees this as a cruel and inhumane act.

The kidnappers' choice of Monero, a privacy coin which makes it very hard to trace transactions, may well signal a shift towards more anonymous forms of cryptocurrency crime, although bitcoin (a pseudonymous cryptocurrency) still seems to figure prominently in ransom demands. We have not known anything comparable in this country.

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"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.

"We still have no suspects", he said.

Police declined to comment on the size of the demand.

He said officers had been working on the case for several weeks and have urged the family not to pay the ransom. Norwegian police have also engaged worldwide counterparts in Interpol and Europol as part of the probe.

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