Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Ransom demand for Norwegian millionaire's missing wife

Ransom demand for Norwegian millionaire's missing wife

The wife of a wealthy Norwegian businessman has gone missing in a rare suspected kidnapping and her family has received a ransom demand to be paid in cryptocurrency, police said on Wednesday.

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

"As things now stand, we advise the family not to pay", Police Inspector Tommy Broeske said at a news conference, per Reuters, noting there's been no sign since October to show Hagen, 68, is safe.

"The family made a decision to follow the police advice", Svein Holden told reporters.

It said Mrs Hagen appeared to have been abducted from the bathroom of her home and that there had been "limited dialogue" with the alleged kidnappers over the internet. Mr Broeske declined to comment other than saying "the threats (in the note) were of a very serious character".

The missing woman's husband, Tom Hagen, 68, is Norway's 172nd richest man, according to the magazine Kapital, with an estimated fortune of 1.7 billion kroner (174 million euros, $200 million).

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.

As a result, investigators on the case are still left with "no suspects", despite having assistance from Interpol and Europol, and have Hagen's wealth behind them.

"Our main theory is that the victim was kidnapped by unidentified perpetrators at her home" in Lørenskog, about 12 miles (20km) from Oslo, he said, adding that police had from the beginning examined several possible theories about her disappearance.

"Despite a broad and extensive investigation, we need more information", he continued. "Police have so far advised the family not to meet the requirements".

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.

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

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