Euro 9m in Monero Demanded in High Profile Norwegian Kidnapping Case

Euro 9m in Monero Demanded in High Profile Norwegian Kidnapping Case

The wife of a wealthy Norwegian businessman has been kidnapped, and those responsible are reportedly asking for the 9million Euro (10 million USD) ransom to be paid in privacy coin Monero (XMR).

Chief investigator Tommy Broeske said 68-year-old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen has been missing since October 31.

Police said a note found in the couple's house, east of Oslo where they lived "a rather anonymous lifestyle", according to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, described what would happen to her if the demanded ransom wasn't paid in the cryptocurrency Monero.

Police have received no sign of life from the woman, "but we haven't received any indication that she isn't alive either", Broske said.

The newspaper reported that the note said Falkevik Hagen would be killed if police were involved. Police had urged the family not to pay any ransom.

Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang, quoting unnamed sources, reported that a ransom demand corresponding to €9m had been made, payable in the Monero cryptocurrency. Norwegian police have also engaged worldwide counterparts in Interpol and Europol as part of the probe.

The house of Norwegian Anne Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen who is the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen
Image Police believe the kidnap happened at the couple's house

"So far, the police have advised the family not to agree to the demands".

Kidnappings are rare in Norway, a Scandinavian nation of 5.3 million that prides itself on low crime rates.

On Wednesday morning, as Aftenposten published its report, police put a cordon around the couple's home.

In a statement, police said they had made the decision to make the case public despite threats from the kidnappers, in order to appeal for more information.

Brøske said investigators had had "very limited" contacts with the purported kidnappers online, but refused to disclose the date of the most recent contact.

Falkevik Hagen is married to Tom Hagen, an investor with business interests in power generation and real estate estimated to be worth 1.7 billion kroner (200 million dollars), according to financial site Kapital.

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