In a strange turn of events where even criminals are resorting to high technology, a senior citizen from Norway has been kidnapped and demands made in cryptocurrency. This news comes from Norway’s largest Newspaper Aftenposten dated 09 January 2019.
As the reputed newspaper continued, Tom Hagen found his wife Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen missing when he returned home. This was back in October 2018 and it has been nearly 10 weeks since.
The perpetrators had left behind a note written in broken Norwegian language and making dire threats of killing the lady. To get back Mrs.Hagen safe and sound the kidnappers have demanded 9 million Euros in the cryptocurrency Monero.
Without a doubt, the Norwegian police have stepped in and Tommy Brøske, an officer as part of the investigation said at a press meet:
“There have been both ransom demands and serious threats. Police have so far advised the family not to meet the requirements.”
The Norwegian police had instructed the media not to divulge the incident for security purposes. On 09 January, however, they decided otherwise and allowed the news to go public in a hope that folks like neighbors or people hiking in the vicinity can provide potential leads.
Mr.Hagen, a business tycoon saw his net worth surge to an estimate of 156 million British pounds from Elkraft, a power supply company started by Mr.Hagen ranking among Norway’s richest. The kidnapping incident is Norway’s first to make a gain using cryptocurrencies.
Brøske emotionally added that Mrs.Hagen was kidnapped on Halloween and this makes it easy to recall the date. Brøske revealed that although the criminals had made demands, they had not disclosed if Mrs.Hagen was still alive.
Mr. Hagen’s lawyer, Svein Holden, made a public appeal to the kidnappers requesting them to respond if Mrs.Hagen was still alive and steps would be initiated to get her back home safely. He also reached out to the Norwegian citizens to uphold the privacy of the Hagen family.
The Telegraph went on to explain that investigators in Norway highlight the lack of advanced security in the Norwegian society. People are free to walk anywhere and there is a scarcity of surveillance cameras, which makes it easy for abduction.
Kidnapping and demanding crypto ransoms have become prevalent since the first case in Costa Rica during 2015. Monero is a popular currency adopted for ransomware since its blockchain totally veils out tracing the source and destination of transactions.
Cryptocurrencies were formed to help humanity adapt to a cashless society and this is truly discouraging news that human life is at risk. We sincerely hope Mrs.Hagen is safely restored and the crime brought to justice.