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"In October 2018, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, the wife of the real-estate baron Tom Hagen, disappeared from her home. Shortly after, her husband received a ransom demand for a whopping $10 million in cryptocurrency. With little evidence, misleading scenarios, and murder suspicions, this case proves to be far more complicated than expected."


"Tom Hagen’s wife Anne-Elisabeth disappeared in Norway in October 2018. Hagen cofounded the electric company Elkraft in 1992, and the case drew attention for his wealth—his net worth is reportedly about $200 million—as well as its mysterious circumstances. As the original story went, Anne-Elisabeth was kidnapped on October 31 that year; a ransom note demanding 9 million euros in the cryptocurrency Monero was left at the scene."


"Tom Hagen received a typed letter from the kidnappers after the disappearance of Anne-Elizabeth Falkevik Hagen. This letter was eventually the only clue for the authorities to figure.


At first, the police thought that the letter was written by a non-native speaker. But with a further thorough investigation, they have now deciphered that the letter was written by a native Norwegian speaker who intentionally tried to write it poorly. The mistakes in the language seemed intentional and deceptive."


"News of the months-long disappearance was first reported by the newspaper Aftenposten early on Wednesday, which said it had known about the case for some time but had chosen not to publish details to protect Mrs Hagen.


It said Mrs Hagen appeared to have been abducted from the bathroom of her home and that there had been "limited dialogue" with the alleged kidnappers over the internet.


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


"Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, 68, disappeared from her home near Oslo on 31 October.


The investigation has been continuing since then, police said, but was given "a low profile" because "very serious threats have been made".


The kidnappers have demanded €9m ($10m; £8m), Norwegian media report.


Broadcaster NRK said the ransom had been demanded in an equivalent amount of the cryptocurrency Monero - a digital currency similar to Bitcoin.


Mrs Hagen is married to Tom Hagen, a businessman with an estimated fortune of 1.7bn Norwegian krone (€174m; £156m) made in the real estate and energy industries.


Norway's financial magazine Kapital named him 172nd on its list of the country's wealthiest people.


NRK says the couple live a "secluded lifestyle" in Lorenskog, east of Oslo, describing Tom Hagen as "media-shy and private".


There has been no evidence since she disappeared that Mrs Hagen is safe, police say.


"As the case now stands, police have advised the family not to settle the claim," Tommy Broske, head of the investigation unit, said."


"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.


The police statement said the main hypothesis "has always been that the woman was abducted against her will" and that "extensive" forensic work has been carried out at the home.


"Our goal is to find the woman alive and reunite her with the family," said Mr Broske.


"As in all serious criminal cases, time is an important factor, and we rely on tips... to help us find the missing woman."


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


"Crazy story unfolding in Norway where billionaire Tom Hagen was arrested, suspected for faking his wife's kidnapping 18 months ago.


It's been a high profile case. Once again a billionaire ends up murdering his wife to avoid an expensive divorce, it seems."


"After investigating for a long time, the police alleged that this entire kidnapping and ransom scenario was a planned deception. Additionally, the kidnappers did not keep in touch frequently or provide any proof that Anne-Elizabeth Falkevik Hagen was alive."


"The case is characterised by a clearly planned deception. As other hypotheses have been weakened, suspicions against Tom Hagen have gradually been strengthened...There was no kidnapping, no real negotiating counterpart or real negotiations. There are indications of a will to sidetrack [investigators]."


"Tom Hagen was released shortly after this, with prosecutors failing to build a case around the man."


"In April 2020, the police arrested an unknown 30-year-old man, who later turned out to be Ole Henrik Golf. In a turn of events, it was revealed that the man did not exist at all. His identity was sold on the darknet web by a company called CardPass. It turned out that the identity had been originally sold to another Norwegian man, who had previously used it to buy drugs before he sold it to the company."


"Over the past couple of years, the supposed kidnappers have used the encrypted chat feature on the bitcoin trading app to communicate with police through highly untraceable coded messages. They have also reportedly asked to use the lesser-known cryptocurrency Dash in a bid to hide the money trail."

In October 2018, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, wife of wealthy businessman Tom Hagen, vanished from their Norway home. A $10 million cryptocurrency ransom demand in Monero was received. Suspicion arose about the authenticity of the kidnapping as evidence was lacking and scenarios seemed misleading. The police identified the ransom note writer as a native Norwegian who intentionally wrote poorly. After months of investigation, Tom Hagen was arrested as suspicions of his involvement grew stronger. However, he was later released due to insufficient evidence. In April 2020, a 30-year-old man, Ole Henrik Golf, supposedly linked to the case, turned out to be a false identity purchased from the darknet. Over time, alleged kidnappers used encrypted chat features and lesser-known cryptocurrencies like Dash to communicate and obscure the money trail. The case remains a complicated mystery with various twists and turns.

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