Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
World News | By Sandy Lane

R144m ransom demand for missing wife of wealthy Norwegian investor

R144m ransom demand for missing wife of wealthy Norwegian investor

Monero [XMR], a popular privacy coin in the market, is in the limelight as the cryptocurrency is demanded as ransom by kidnappers in Norway.

Investigators refused to confirm the amount but said they advised the family not to pay the purported kidnappers.

Her husband Tom Hagen, a real estate investor and owner of power facilities, is among the wealthiest people in Norway, boasting a total wealth of about $2 billion. It is the country's first kidnap for crypto ransom.

Police have been investigating the case discreetly for several weeks but chose to make it public in the hope someone would come forward with information, Brøske said. The demand is also one of the reasons for the police to believe that this could be a kidnapping case.

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Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, 68, who is married to multimillionaire Tom Hagen, vanished on October 31 - but news of her disappearance was only just made public.

Police inspector Tommy Broske attends a press conference in Lillestrom, some 20 km north of Oslo, January 9, 2019 on the kidnapping of wife of a Norwegian multi-millionaire Tom Hagen, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik missing for 10 weeks.

Sources have now indicated that a written message was found in the Hagen house, which demanded a $10 million ransom be paid entirely with the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Monero. "We have no suspects in this case", Broeske said, noting police have been "on the case for several weeks".

He said police had no suspects so far.

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The paper reported that it appeared the 68-year-old had been abducted from her bathroom of her home in Lorenskog and that there had been "limited dialogue" with her captors over the internet.

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

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.

Investigators refused to comment on that report, but said global police were cooperating on the case.

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