Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, the wife of the Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen, has been missing for close to three months now since late October last year in what the police have been suspecting to be a kidnapping.
However, their fears were confirmed when the suspected culprit behind the disappearance of the 68-year-old woman left behind for Tom Hagen a note demanding payment of a ransom of nine million euros (approximately $10.3 million) to release Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik. The money is to be paid in Monero [XMR].
According to Norwegian newspapers Romerikes Blad and VG, this information has been divulged by the Norwegian police who have been investigating the matter since the disappearance was reported on October 31st last year.
Monero is a privacy coin that supports anonymous transactions as opposed to more mainstream coins such as Bitcoin or Ethereum which offer at best pseudonymous properties. Payment of the ransom in Monero coins will ensure that the receiving address cannot be tracked nor can previous transaction associated with the address be scrutinized for clues. (Some Twitter users, however, beg to differ.)
Tom Hagen is ranked among the top 200 (#172) richest people in Norway according to Kapital. According to reports to the police, his wife was kidnapped from their home as the evidence to her attack was found around her bathroom area. There was no forced entry into the house.
The kidnappers left behind a note giving instructions on the amount of money that Tom had to part with to claim back his wife as well as the method that he would pay through. The kidnappers also threatened Tom with the murder of his wife if he involved the police.
Even though the police have been keeping the investigation under wraps for the past 10 weeks due to the need for privacy to avoid agitating the criminals, the investigation hasn’t materialized and they are looking to involve the public for tips and leads to saving the woman.
In the police’s latest statement, they mention that,
“Our goal is to find the woman alive and reunite her with her family. In serious criminal cases, time is an important factor. We depend on tips that can help us come closer to finding Anne-Elisabeth.”