Hagen, wife of billionaire, kidnapped

Pieter Wijnen
Norway Today

Anne-Elisabeth Hagen

Photo: VG / privat
Anne-Elisabeth Hagen has been missing from her home since Oct. 31.

Anne-Elisabeth Hagen (68) has been missing from her home since Oct. 31, apparently held for ransom. No signs of life have been forthcoming since then. She is the wife of the Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen (68).

The police are looking for two men who walked outside Tom Hagen’s workplace the morning after his wife disappeared. They believe Hagen’s movements may have been monitored and mapped.

Investigators have released two short recordings, caught by a surveillance camera outside the workplace of Tom Hagen the morning his wife was allegedly abducted from the couple’s home. On Jan. 10, the police called for two pedestrians and a bicyclist to report themselves.

During the same period, the police believe that one or more unknown perpetrators entered the couple’s detached house at the end of Sloraveien on Fjellhamar, grabbing Tom Hagen’s wife and leaving both a ransom note and threatening letter behind.

Tom Hagen notified the police on the same day. There has been no sign of life from her since then, though police emphasize that they have not received any evidence to the contrary, either.

“This is a case that we believe has its background in business operations and wealthy persons. We cannot rule out that these have been under surveillance,” Investigation Leader Tommy Brøske tells NTB.

The East Police District is now in a phase of massive information gathering, taking investigative steps they were largely prevented from carrying out when the handling of the case was kept under wraps.

During their search of the home, police crime technicians discovered a ransom note and a letter containing serious threats of what will happen if the police are notified; hence the secrecy surrounding the case up till now.

The perpetrators require the ransom paid out in cryptocurrency. According to VG, the claim is for €9 million (over $10.25 million). Several media outlets report that the kidnappers demand the ransom be paid in Monero, a virtually untraceable currency. Police have not verified this.

Since going public with the case, the police have received hundreds of tip-offs.

“The fact that the police have gone public with the supposed kidnapping case may be an attempt to get the perpetrators to provide a sign of life from Anne-Elisabeth Hagen,” says leader of the Human Advisor Group, Michael Sjøberg, an expert in handling hostage situations.

The police say they have had limited dialogue with the supposed perpetrator(s), and have no idea who that is. “The perpetrator has chosen a digital communication platform that facilitates communication in a very small degree. There has been no oral contact, the police have previously stated,” Sjøberg continues.

The police do not know whether Anne-Elisabeth Hagen is still in Norway or someplace else. They believe that there are signs indicating that professionals are responsible for the kidnapping.

A phone call is supposedly the last verified sign of life from Anne-Elisabeth Hagen. That conversation is central to the investigation. “The police hope that the phone call can help narrow the time frame for when the 68-year-old went missing,” writes VG.

The conversation took place early in the morning of Oct. 31, shortly before the police believe Hagen was abducted from her home in Sloraveien. According to the newspaper, she talked to one or more family members on the phone that morning. It is not clear if any of them were the last to have contact with her.

The police asked the Economic Crimes Unit to check whether there were links between the kidnapping and a stock fraud case involving her husband, reports TV 2, referring to police sources.

The fraud case was dealt with by the Oslo District Court this autumn. It concerns stock litigation where 12 companies have lost approximately NOK 100 million ($11.7 million). Tom Hagen has ownership interests in one of the affected companies.

The Economic Crimes Unit does not believe that the two cases are linked, but the police confirm that Hagen’s business relationships are a key element in the investigation.

The verdict in the fraud case is expected to be announced later this month.

This article was originally published on Norway Today.

This article originally appeared in the January 25, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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