Saturday 20 July 2019

Police believe 'abducted' wife of one of Norway's richest men has been killed

An undated police handout shows Norwegian Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who is the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen, and has been kidnapped according to local media, Norway. NTB Scanpix/via REUTERS
An undated police handout shows Norwegian Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who is the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen, and has been kidnapped according to local media, Norway. NTB Scanpix/via REUTERS

The wife of one of Norway's richest men who was apparently abducted eight months ago might have been killed, police have said, adding they "cannot exclude a staged kidnapping to hide it".

Authorities have been tight-lipped about the case of 69-year-old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who was last seen alive on October 31.

She is the wife of Tom Hagen, a media-shy real estate investor and owner of an electric company.

It was believed she was kidnapped after a note was found in their house, east of Oslo, saying she would be killed if a ransom was not paid.

Members of the media report from outside the home of missing woman Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/AP)
Members of the media report from outside the home of missing woman Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/AP)

Norwegian media reported at the time that a ransom of nine million euros, to be paid in cryptocurrency, was demanded.

Chief police investigator Tommy Broeske said on Wednesday that detectives have now changed their "main hypothesis" about the case because of the absence of any signs of Ms Falkevik Hagen's life or recent contact with the alleged kidnappers.

Police have searched the home of Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen and his wife Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen in Fjellhamar, Norway (Tore Meek, NTB scanpix/AP)
Police have searched the home of Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen and his wife Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen in Fjellhamar, Norway (Tore Meek, NTB scanpix/AP)

Police said earlier that the alleged kidnappers had communicated with Tom Hagen by means of a digital platform that was not answerable.

"The most likely is that she has been exposed to a serious crime but we consider it less likely that we are facing abduction with an economic motive.

Police put up tape outside the home of missing woman Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/AP)
Police put up tape outside the home of missing woman Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/AP)

"The main hypothesis has been changed to that she has been killed," he told reporters.

He added that police have no motive for the alleged murder.

Police work outside the house of Norwegian Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who is the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen, and has been kidnapped according to local media, in Fjellhamar, Norway January 9, 2019. Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/via REUTERS
Police work outside the house of Norwegian Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who is the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen, and has been kidnapped according to local media, in Fjellhamar, Norway January 9, 2019. Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/via REUTERS
Police put up tape outside the home of missing woman Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB Scanpix/AP)

He declined to say whether anyone has been arrested.

Police were informed about Ms Falkevik Hagen's disappearance on October 31 but did not publicly speak about it until January 9, after which hundreds of tips poured in.

Mr Hagen, a property investor and owner of power facilities, is number 172 on a list of Norway's wealthiest people published by the financial magazine Kapital, with a fortune estimated to be nearly 1.7bn kroner (€176m) in 2018.

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