Story About Crypto Ransomers Kidnapping Norwegian Billionaire’s Wife Takes Shocking Turn

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Tue, 04/28/2020 - 14:20
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Alex Dovbnya
Norwegian tycoon has been arrested for murdering his wife and trying to sidetrack investigators with a fake Monero ransom story
Story About Crypto Ransomers Kidnapping Norwegian Billionaire’s Wife Takes Shocking Turn
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Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen has been arrested as a prime suspect in the murder of his wife, Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, Reuters reports.

Notably, Hagen, 70, allegedly came up with a cryptocurrency ransom story to cover his tracks. 

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A Monero cover-up  

The businessman behind the electric company Elkraft is one of the richest Norwegians with a net worth of 1.9 bln Norwegian kroner ($183 mln), which is why the disappearance of his wife in October 2018 attracted plenty of press coverage.

In January 2019, U.Today reported that Hagen’s wife had allegedly been abducted. The story goes that her kidnapper contacted the tycoon and demanded $10 mln worth of Monero (XMR), a popular privacy coin that allows obfuscating all transactions on its network.

However, Tommy Broeske, the chief police investigator, says that it was simply a ploy that was meant to “sidetrack” police inquiries:

"After now 18 months of investigation, police have come to a point where it has reason to suspect Tom Hagen of murder or conspiracy for murder."  

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$300,000 Worth of Bitcoin Demanded by Kidnappers of Belgian Teenager
 

Beware of crypto ransoms

Due to the anonymous nature of crypto, ransom demands are not uncommon in this space. From Instagram models to entire cities -- anyone can appear in the crosshairs of bad actors.

According to a recent Chainalysis report, blackmailing scams are currently on the rise during the COVID-19 crisis. 

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.