Norwegian Kidnappers Demand $10 Million in Monero (XMR) for Millionaire’s Wife
Police in Norway recently revealed that the wife of one of the richest men in the nation had been kidnapped. Furthermore, a ransom has been demanded to ensure her safe return. According to a recent report, the kidnappers are demanding $10 million in Monero to let her go.
The Missing Wife
About 10 weeks ago, the wife of Tom Hagen, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen went missing. Nobody knew where she was and the police have yet to receive confirmation that she is alive. Sources recently revealed that there was a written message found in the woman’s home.
The note demanded a $10 million ransom to be paid in Monero. The choice for this cryptocurrency might have been its focus on privacy.
In the note, Hagen was given death threats if the media or police were told about it. As a result, police have been forced to carry out a secret investigation. Interpol and the Norwegian national police were supporting the investigation.
Monero And Privacy
Monero has received a lot of praise for being so focused on user anonymity. It has been long speculated to be the go-to coins for cybercriminals. This is because its privacy features make it important for anyone to link a crypto transaction to anyone with any effectiveness.
According to a source, the police have been speaking with people who claim to be the ones who kidnapped the woman. However, the dialogue has been quite limited. The police have also confirmed that they are not sure if these are the real kidnappers.
Her husband is ranked as number 172 of Norway’s top 400 richest people. He made most of his $200 million fortune working in property development and the electricity center. Local police will apparently hold a press conference sometime later, according to a report on TheNextWeb.
According to the family lawyer, this was an inhumane and cruel act. He added that they hope by speaking publicly, some contact would be established and the family gets to learn if Ann-Elisabeth is okay.
When they confirm that she is okay, they can start the process of ensuring she goes back homes safely. However, the lawyer did not state whether the process could lead to the ransom being paid. This has come as a shock since Norway has one of the lowest crime rates globally.
Crypto Ransom Demands
This is not the first time kidnappers are asking for a ransom in cryptocurrency. In a recent incident in Ukraine, an employee of a UK-registered crypto exchange was released after a $1 million ransom was paid in BTC as ransom. An advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister revealed this news.
Pavel Lerner, who is a major blockchain expert and analyst, was kidnapped on December 26. This was the first such kidnapping in Ukraine where ransom was demanded in Bitcoins. However, it was not clear who made the crypto payment. While working for the EXMO exchange, he did not have any direct access to user assets. Thus, operations had not been affected.