Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Norwegian police: Missing wife of tycoon was abducted

Kidnappers in Norway demand $10M Monero ransom for millionaire's wife After the demand for ransom in monero – police urge family not to pay
Ellis Copeland | 10 January, 2019, 17:28

Brøske explained that police have been investigating Hagen's disappearance for several weeks, but until this week have kept it "low profile" due to the seriousness of the threats against her, the BBC noted.

This is because the note specifically stated that Anne-Elisabeth would be murdered if Hagen involved the police.

Chief investigator Tommy Broeske, however, made a decision to "go public", because they "need more information" to help track down the criminals and bring Falkevik Hagen home safely.

Police in Norway have suggested the wife of a millionaire real estate investor and energy magnate who has been missing for 10 weeks may have been kidnapped.

Tom Hagen, the husband of the missing woman, is the 172nd richest man in Norway, according to Kapital magazine.

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. Moreover, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement [Europol] and the International Criminal Police Organization [Interpol] have been informed of the case and are now involved in it with the police.

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

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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.

Broske added during an appeal for help to the public: 'A ransom demand and serious threats have been issued.

"Our goal is to find the woman alive and reunite her with the family", Mr Broske said.

The police chose to go public with the case after ten weeks because they wanted more information pertaining the case. We have no suspects in this case'. He advised the family not to pay.

Local media reports that despite their fortune, the couple lived "modestly", choosing a "secluded" and "private" life over the limelight, which was unfortunately not enough to keep them off the criminals' radar.

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

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