Suspected kidnappers demand $15.5 million ransom for Norwegian millionaire's wife

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The wife of a Norwegian multimillionaire missing since October 31 probably has been kidnapped, police said Wednesday, adding that her suspected abductors have demanded a ransom reported to be over $10 million.

Investigators refused to confirm that amount but said they advised the family not to pay the purported kidnappers.

Tom Hagen is on Kapital's list of Norway's 400 richest men, having made his wealth through the purchase and sale of electricity as well as housing development. It is the country's first kidnap for crypto ransom.

Police said the case was given a "low profile" because of the threats but went public in an effort to garner information on her whereabouts, BBC News reported. The demand is also one of the reasons for the police to believe that this could be a kidnapping case.

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, 68, married to a real estate and energy magnate, disappeared on October 31, police said.

According to daily Verdens Gang, the ransom demand was for nine million euros ($10.3 million) in the cryptocurrency Monero.

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

Police were due to give a press conference on the matter later Wednesday.

It remains unclear what the exact figure of the demanded ransom is, but local Norwegian media claim the kidnappers asked for more than $10 million.

Tommy Broeske, a Police Inspector said that, at present, their goal is to find the missing woman "alive and reunite her with the family".

The paper reported that it appeared the 68-year-old had been abducted from her bathroom of her home in Lorenskog and that there had been "limited dialogue" with her captors over the internet.

"Our main theory is that the victim was kidnapped by unidentified perpetrators at her home" in Lørenskog, about 12 miles (20km) from Oslo, he said, adding that police had from the beginning examined several possible theories about her disappearance. Norwegian police have also engaged global counterparts in Interpol and Europol as part of the probe.

Mr Hagen's lawyers have told news outlets he will not comment on the story at this time.

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