€9 Million Worth of Monero (XMR) Demanded as Ransom for Norwegian Billionaire’s Wife

VG, a local news outlet in Norway, on Jan. 9. reported on the kidnap of Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, the 68-year old wife of Norwegian 172 richest man. The incident, which occurred on Oct. 31, 2018, was shrouded in secrecy for the fear of upsetting the kidnappers who clearly warned against police involvement in the case.

Tom Hagen, the husband of the 68-year old victim, reportedly reached out to local media outlets and the police department for help immediately after the incident but pleaded with them to keep the news away from the eyes of the public for the safety of his wife. The police department and other investigation parties have been conducting investigations privately until recently when they stumbled upon a roadblock.

According to VG, the crime scene showed no sign of struggle or burglary. The alleged kidnappers were not captured on security cameras too, making it difficult to investigate the crime. At the moment, the police has exhausted the little leads on the case without success and there is no clear evidence to indicate if Mrs. Hagen is alive or not. Even worse, the kidnappers have only had limited contact with the family of the victim. Hence the need to take the matter to the general public for more leads on the case.

VG also reported that the alleged kidnappers are demanding a sum of 9million Euros in Monero (XMR), a privacy-centric cryptocurrency, as a ransom for the 68-year old victim.

Monero blockchain is known for its high privacy level when it comes to crypto transactions. Unlike Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that can be easily traced, transactions on the Monero blockchain are kept in secrecy from the buyer and seller and the entire public. Only authorized persons would be able to access such transactions. This makes it a good hideout for cybercriminals and other financial crime activities. Leveraging the high-privacy mode of the Monero blockchain, the kidnappers released stringent rules to pay the ransom only in Monero.

Commenting on the incident, the head of the investigation unit, Tommy Broske, advised the family not to comply with the ransom payment. He added that their goal is to find the 68-year old victim and reunite her with her family. Like other criminal cases, Mr. Broske explained that time is always a factor. With time and the necessary tips, they are sure to the victim back to her family.

This is one of those rare cases of kidnapping as Norway is known for its low crime rate. At press time not much has been gathered on the case. VG pleads with anyone with a lead to contact their journalists at alle-krim@vg.no or hanna@vg.no.