Kidnappers demand £8m ransom for wife of one of Norway’s richest men

Kidnappers demand £8 million ransom for wife of one of Norway’s richest men after she vanished on Hallo’ween

  • Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik, 68, disappeared on October 31 last year in Lorenskog 
  • Fears she was kidnapped after €9 million (£8.1m) in cryptocurrency demanded 
  • She was grabbed from the bathroom at the couple’s home by the kidnappers 
  • Tom Hagen is Norway’s 172nd richest man and made his fortune in real estate

The wife of a Norwegian multi-millionaire missing for ten weeks is believed to have been kidnapped after a ransom was demanded today.

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

A ransom demand for €9 million (£8.1 million) in cryptocurrency has been issued for the release of the 68-year-old woman, the Norwegian Verdens Gang newspaper said.

She was said to have been attacked when raiders snatched her from the couple’s bathroom at their house which is surrounded by woodland. 

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen disappeared in Lorenskog on October 31 after being snatched from the bathroom of her home

A €9 million (£8.1 million) ransom in cryptocurrency has been demanded by the kidnappers who grabbed Mrs Falkevik Hagen from her home

The kidnappers have threatened to use violence against her if her family does not meet their demands, Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper reported today.

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. 

It has also been reported that there had been limited contact between police and the suspects with the only communication sent through encrypted digital platforms.

Mr Hagen, who is Norway’s 172nd richest man and made his fortune in real estate and the energy sector.

According to the magazine Kapital, the 68-year-old has an estimated fortune of 1.7 billion kroner (174 million euros, £156m). 

Police said a note found in the couple’s house, east of Oslo not far om the Swedish border, described what would happen to her if the demanded ransom was not paid

Members of the media outside the house of the Hagen family after a news blackout had previously been in place over fears for the victim’s family 

He owns 70 per cent of electricity company Elkraft which he co-founded in 1992, Norwegian media reported.   

Norwegian police confirmed that ‘a woman in her late 60s is believed to have been kidnapped from her home in Lorenskog’, around 12 miles from Oslo and 31 miles from the Swedish border, but did not disclose her identity.

Tommy Broske at the Eastern Police District said the way Mrs Falkevik Hagen was abducted suggested ‘that these are professional offenders’.  

Police added that officers do not know if she is being held in the same place since her kidnap or has been taken outside of Norway.

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

Police outside the house of Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who is the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen, and was kidnapped over ten weeks ago

Many Norwegian media outlets knew of Mrs Falkevik Hagen’s disappearance but did not publish any details after the police warned against publicising the kidnap over fears the attackers would harm the victim.

There has been no evidence since she disappeared that Mrs Falkevik Hagen is safe, police said. 

Broske added during an appeal for help to the public: ‘We need information, and that is why we now go out into the media. 

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‘As the case now stands, police have advised the family not to settle the claim. We have no suspects in this case.’

Broske declined to comment further, other than to add that ‘the threats [in the note] were of a very serious character’. 

Tommy Broske, head of the investigations unit, at a press conference in Lillestrom today where he made a public appeal for information 

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. 

Europol and Interpol have been connected, Norwegian police said at a press conference today. 

Events like this are extremely rare in the wealthy Scandinavian country, which enjoys a generally low crime rate.  

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