Kidnappers of Norwegian billionaire’s wife demand CRYPTO ransom

Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, 68, the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen, went missing on October 31, but news of her disappearance had not previously been disclosed and police said they could not confirm whether she was still alive.

Chief investigator Tommy Broeske said that 68-year-old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen has been missing since October 31.

Svein Holden, Hagen's lawyer, told reporters the abduction was "a cruel and an inhuman act".

Police said a note found in the couple's house, east of Oslo, described what would happen to her if the demanded ransom wasn't paid in the cryptocurrency Monero.

Her husband Tom Hagen - a real estate investor and owner of power facilities - is number 172 on a list of the country's 400 most wealthy people published by Norway's financial magazine Kapital. He made his multi-millions in the real estate and energy industries.

It remains unclear what the exact figure of the demanded ransom is, but local Norwegian media claim the kidnappers asked for more than $10 million. Police have received no signs whether Falkevik Hagen was still alive, "but we haven't either received any sign that she is not alive", he added.

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"There has been demand for ransom, and serious threats have been made in this case".

Tommy Broske at the Eastern Police District said the way Mrs Falkevik Hagen was abducted suggested "that these are professional offenders". "Police have so far advised the family not to meet the requirements".

The investigator said "the threats (in the note) were of a very serious character" and the police have no evidence that she's alive "but we haven't received any indication that she isn't alive either".

Norwegian broadcaster NRK says the couple live a "secluded lifestyle" and asked the public to get in contact if any suspicious activity was seen in woodland that surround the family home.

Kidnappings are rare in Norway, which prides itself on low crime rates.

The police have been working on this case for a long duration as one of their top secret operations.

  • Joey Payne