World Media

Norway businessman's wife kidnapped for ransom

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen has been missing since October

The wife of a Norwegian multi-millionaire missing for 10 weeks has probably been kidnapped and a ransom has been demanded for her release, police said Wednesday.

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, 68, has been missing since October 31, chief investigator Tommy Broeske said on Wednesday, with police saying she was abducted "against her will".

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

The abducted woman's husband is one of Norway's wealthiest men, with an estimated net-worth of $200 million dollars accumulated from the real-estate and energy markets.

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.

Police said a note found in the couple's house, east of Oslo, described what would happen to her if the demanded ransom wasn't paid in the cryptocurrency Monero.

Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, 68, the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen, went missing on October 31, but news of her disappearance had not previously been disclosed and police said they could not confirm whether she was still alive.

Currently, the police have no suspects.

Mr Broeske said "those behind have chosen to communicate digitally and we have had no other type of contact".

"The family sees this as a cruel and inhumane act", lawyer Svein Holden told reporters.

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.

The authorities had received no sign of life from the woman, "but we haven't received any indication that she isn't alive either", Broske said. "It is demanding and exhausting to be in such a situation over a long period of time", he said. Norwegian police have also engaged global counterparts in Interpol and Europol as part of the probe.

"Our main theory is that the victim was kidnapped by unidentified perpetrators at her home" in Lorenskog, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Oslo, he said.