Cryptocurrency Ransom Demand For 'Abducted' Wife Of Norwegian Millionaire
Anne-Elisabeth Hagen hasn't been seen or heard from since October 31.
Now, a ransom of close to $10 million has been demanded from her family.
Police in Norway said they still have no suspects into her disappearance and are following a number of lines of inquiry, but their theory from day one has been that she was abducted.
The 68-year-old woman who has now been missing for more than two months, is the wife of Tom Hagen, a real estate investor and businessman who is estimated to have a net worth of around $360 million, according to Norwegian news agency NTB.
Kapital Magazine ranked him as the 172nd richest person in Norway last year and said he contributed to the founding of Elkraft, a multibillion-dollar company which supplies power to the entire Nordic region.
Police inspector Tommy Brøske told reporters Hagen's disappearance had not been made public until now because, despite many lines of inquiry, they needed more information.
Brøske did not comment on the contents of the ransom note but said her suspected abductors had communicated "digitally" and confirmed that "very serious threats" had been made.
"There have not been any signs that she is alive, but neither have there been any signs indicating that she would not be alive," he added.
Police have urged the woman's family not to pay the ransom, which is believed to have been demanded in cryptocurrency.
Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang, quoting unnamed sources, reported a ransom corresponding to 9 million euros (AUD$14.49 million) had been made, payable in the Monero cryptocurrency.
Hagen's disappearance has sparked fear among locals in the town of Sloraveien where she disappeared.
Sloraveien is located close to the Langvannet hiking area in Lørenskog in Norway's east, and police are urging locals or regular hikers who may have seen something around the time of her disappearance on Halloween to come forward.
Rolf Arne Letvik the couple's neighbour in Lørenskog told Reuters word had spread about Hagen's disappearance and had left many in the neighbourhood feeling unsafe.
"The police has also given further information that has created fear amongst the younger people and also among us older people," he said.
Featured Image: Norway Police
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