Kidnappers demand ransom for wife of Norwegian billionaire

Police at the couple's house

The wife of one of Norway’s richest men has been missing for months and her kidnappers have demanded a ransom, police have revealed.

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

Her husband Tom Hagen, a property investor and owner of power facilities, is number 172 on a list of the country’s 400 most wealthy people published in financial magazine Kapital.

His fortune in 2018 amounted to nearly 1.7 billion kroner, according to Norwegian news agency NTB.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Police have searched the home of Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen and his wife Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen in Fjellhamar, Norway (Tore Meek, NTB scanpix/AP)</figcaption>
Police have searched the home of Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen and his wife Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen in Fjellhamar, Norway (Tore Meek, NTB scanpix/AP)

Police said a note found in the couple’s house, east of Oslo, described what would happen to her if the ransom was not paid in the crypto-currency Monero.

Police did not give a figure for the ransom amount, but Norway’s VG newspaper reported it was €9 million.

The newspaper reported that the note said Ms Falkevik Hagen would be killed if police were involved.
Mr Broeske declined to comment other than saying “the threats (in the note) were of a very serious character”.

“The reason for us to go public with this case now is that despite a broad and extensive investigation, we need more information,” he told a news conference.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Members of the media report from outside the home of missing woman Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/AP)</figcaption>
Members of the media report from outside the home of missing woman Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/AP)

“We have no suspects in this case,” he said.

Police have been “on the case for several weeks. That is all I’d say,” he added.

Mr Broeske said “those behind have chosen to communicate digitally and we have had no other type of contact”. Police have urged the family not to pay any ransom.

Police believe she disappeared from the couple’s home, 31 miles from the Swedish border. Mr Broeske said they were working with Europol and Interpol on the case.

- Press Association