Kidnappers demand €9 million cryptocurrency ransom for wealthy Norwegian woman

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen

Kidnappers are demanding a ransom after taking the wife of one of Norway's richest men hostage.

"As the case now stands, police have advised the family not to settle the claim", Tommy Broske, head of the investigation unit, said.

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.

Police have been investigating the case discreetly for several weeks but decided to make it public in the hope that someone would come forward with information, Broske said.

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

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, the wife of the Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen.

According to the daily newspaper Verdens Gang, the ransom demand was for €9m (£8m) in the cryptocurrency Monero.

On October 31, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who is married to Norwegian millionaire Tom Hagen, suddenly disappeared from her family home in Lørenskog, reports news outlet VG.

Police said they had no suspects at this stage.

Mr Broeske said those behind the kidnap have chosen to communicate digitally and officers have had no other form of contact.

There is no evidence Mrs Falkevik Hagen has been harmed since she disappeared, but officers have also not received any "proof of life", police said.

The kidnappers are said to have asked for the ransom to be paid in cryptocurrency Monero, which can be sent and received anonymously.

He said police had no suspects so far.

Police were scheduled to hold a press conference later Wednesday.

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

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

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