Crime

Wife of Norway’s 172nd Richest Man Kidnapped, Ransom to Be Paid in Monero

Wife of Norway’s 172nd Richest Man Kidnapped, Ransom to Be Paid in Monero

Cryptocurrencies are sometimes erroneously said to ”only be used by criminals”. Although this is demonstrably false, cryptocurrencies are sometimes linked to crime – just like all currencies are. Now it seems as if a mysterious suspected kidnapping in Norway has just taken an unexpected cryptocurrency-related turn.

Anne-Elisabeth has been missing since October 31

The 68-year old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen is the wife of one of Norway’s richest men, investment mogul Tom Hagen. However, she has been missing since the 31st of October following a suspected kidnapping, according to the Norwegian police.

Her disappearance was reportedly discovered when Tom Hagen arrived at the pair’s residence outside of Oslo on October 31st. He found the house empty, barring a letter written in spelling error-riddled Norwegian.

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The letter supposedly demanded Hagen to pay a ransom equivalent of nine million euros. The note also instructed Hagen to deliver the ransom using the privacy-centric cryptocurrency Monero.

Although Falkevik Hagen disappeared more than two months ago, it reached the public for the first time today. This is because the note specifically stated that Anne-Elisabeth would be murdered if Hagen involved the police.

This has meant that previous search efforts for Falkevik Hagen’s whereabouts have previously needed to be conducted in secrecy.

The Norwegian police have reportedly been forced to use civilian cars with fake license numbers when moving in the area around the couple’s residence outside of Oslo, in order not to arouse suspicion in case the suspected kidnappers might have been watching.

Police urge public to share information, husband not to pay ransom

Nevertheless, police today decided to make Anne-Elisabeth’s disappearance public, in an effort to receive potential public information regarding where she is being kept captive.

Moreover, there have been no signs of life from Anne-Elisabeth since the day of her disappearance. Nonetheless, Norwegian police believe that the suspected kidnappers are targeting Tom Hagen’s wealth. Hagen is Norway’s 172nd richest person, according to the Norwegian financial journal Kapital.

The police has so-far reportedly urged Anne-Elisabeth’s family not to pay the ransom, neither in Monero nor in a fiat currency.

The reasoning behind requesting the ransom to be paid in Monero likely stems from the cryptocurrency’s anonymous nature. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, this means that Monero transaction history is hidden, preventing a potential ransom from being traced.

Image Source: “Pexels”

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