€9 million demand for abducted billionaire’s wife
Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, the wife of one of Norway’s richest men, has been missing from her home for ten weeks and there have been demands for €9 million in ransom, writes VG.
According to Aftenposten, who first mentioned the case, the police have investigated the case in total secrecy.
The woman supposedly is abducted from her home at Fjellhamar in Lørenskog municipality, Akershus.
VG writes that the ransom requirement in the cryptocurrency Monero, which is made in a way that does not allow transactions to be tracked. The amount corresponds to approximately NOK 90 million.
68-years-old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen is married to Tom Hagen, who stands at the 172nd place on the financial newspaper Kapital’s list of Norway’s richest people with an estimated net worth of NOK 1.7 billion – mainly earned on properties and sale of electricity.
According to VG’s information, a written message has been found on broken Norwegian in their villa. In the note, it is allegedly written that the 68-years-old will be killed if the police are contacted. The newspaper writes that the police have used cars with fake registration when they have driven to the house to secure evidence – out of for fear for counter-intelligence.
After what the local newspaper Romerikes Blad understands, very few criminal cases have been investigated to the same extent in recent times in Norway. The investigation is led by the Eastern Police District, with assistance from Oslo Police District, the Crime Unit (Kripos), Interpol and Europol.
The Crisis and hostage service (KGF), which is under the auspices of the Oslo Police District and has national responsibility, is also involved, Aftenposten writes.
The Police held a press conference on the supposed abduction at 11 am on Wednesday morning.
The police inform at the press conference that they have not got any signs of life from Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen after she probably was abducted on 31st October.
“We have not received any sign that she is not alive, either, the Leader of the Joint Unit for Intelligence and Investigation in the Eastern Police District, Police Inspector Tommy Brøske,” stresses.
Furthermore, he states that the police only had limited dialogue with the supposed kidnapper, and they have no idea who they are.
“The perpetrator(s) has chosen a digital communication platform that very facilitates communication to a very limited degree. There has not been oral contact,” Brøske explains.
The police further state that they have implored the family of the supposedly abducted 68-years-old woman from Romerike not to meet the demand for a ransom.
The case is being investigated as an abduction. The last confirmed sign of life is from October 31st last year, Brøske concludes
The police confirm that the claim for a ransom is in a cryptocurrency.
Decided not to pay the ransom
“The family of Anne-Elisabeth Hagen has decided to follow the police’s advice not to pay the ransom,” says the family’s support lawyer, Svein Holden at a press conference.
“As known, a ransom demand against the family has been issued. The police have given the family a clear recommendation not to meet the demand as the case now stands. The family has decided to follow that advice,“ Holden elaborates.
“We, therefore, hope that today’s publication of the case will help us get in touch with those who have abducted Anne-Elisabeth and that we get a confirmation that everything is fine with her. After that we can initiate a process of returning Anne-Elisabeth safely to her family,” Holden continues.
He adds the family has got comprehensive advice from the police professionals regarding the demand for a ransom and the assessment of whether this should be adhered to.
“Given that they have received such unambiguous advice, it is difficult to imagine to act contrary to the advice given,” the family lawyer goes on.
“That assessment has been extremely demanding”, he emphasises.
Holden finalizes by telling that he does not know if the family had any warning prior to what has happened.
Facts about the cryptocurrency Monero
- Monero is an open source cryptocurrency. It was created in April 2014. The currency ticker is XMR.
- Monero joins the line of digital currencies, where the common denominator is that they are exchanged electronically only. In most cases, there is no form of central bank or the like behind the currency.
- The goal of Monero is to improve the design of the existing cryptocurrencies by hiding the sender, recipient and amount of every transaction.
- The ransom demand in the supposed abduction case at Romerike is supposedly made in Monero, and the amount corresponds to approximately NOK 90 million (€9 million to be precise).
(Sources: Wikipedia, VG)
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today