Kidnappers demand ransom for Norwegian billionaire's wife

After the demand for ransom in monero – police urge family not to pay

After the demand for ransom in monero – police urge family not to pay

Cryptocurrency crimes on the rise?

Anne Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (68) has reportedly been missing for 10 weeks, but the news has only become known to the public today due to fears for what might happen to her if the word of her disappearance got out.

However, she has been missing since the 31st of October following a suspected kidnapping, according to the Norwegian police.

Norwegian police probing the kidnap of a millionaire's wife have released CCTV of a man seen walking outside his office on the day his partner went missing. He found the house empty, barring a letter written in spelling error-riddled Norwegian.

A lawyer for the family said they had not paid the ransom.

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

This has meant that previous search efforts for Falkevik Hagen's whereabouts have previously needed to be conducted in secrecy.

Investigators refused to comment on that report, but said global police were cooperating on the case.

Police have been investigating the case discreetly for several weeks but chose to make it public in the hope that someone would come forward with information, Broske said.

It is unclear whether Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen is still alive. Since then, police had received "more than 100 tips", Broeske said, adding "several seems to be interesting" without elaborating.

He is number 172 on a list of Norway's wealthiest people published by the financial magazine Kapital, with a fortune that amounted to almost 1.7 billion kroner (US$200 million) in 2018, according to Norwegian news agency NTB.

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

The reasoning behind requesting the ransom to be paid in Monero likely stems from the cryptocurrency's anonymous nature.

As if the cryptocurrency space wasn't controversial enough, the emergence of privacy-focused coins such as Monero allow an end user to cloak their identity, making the currency an ideal choice for cyber criminals.

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