Kidnappers demand ransom for Norwegian billionaire's wife

Kidnappers demand ransom for Norwegian billionaire's wife

The wife of a Norwegian multi-millionaire missing for 10 weeks has probably been kidnapped and a ransom has been demanded for her release, police said Wednesday.

The wife of one of Norway's richest men has been missing for months and her kidnappers have demanded a ransom, police have revealed.

"The family made a decision to follow the police advice", Svein Holden told reporters.

The missing woman's husband, Tom Hagen, is listed as the 172nd wealthiest person in Norway, with a net worth of 1.7 billion kroner, or about United States dollars 200 million.

Norwegian police had asked the media to stay silent on the kidnap, but on Wednesday decided to make it public in the hope that neighbours, or people hiking in the area, may have seen or recorded something that could help lead to the attackers.

NRK says the couple live a "secluded lifestyle" in Lorenskog, east of Oslo, describing Tom Hagen as "media-shy and private".

Norwegian police believe that the 68-year-old was taken from her home in Sloraveien, with forensics teams analysing traces of the kidnappers in the bathroom of Hagen's detached house.

Police have received no proof that the woman is alive "but we haven't received any indication that she isn't alive either", Brøske said.

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Detectives had been investigating the case discreetly for several weeks but chose to make it public on Wednesday in the hope that someone would come forward with information.

'As the case now stands, police have advised the family not to settle the claim.

He owns 70 per cent of electricity company Elkraft which he co-founded in 1992, Norwegian media reported.

"As in all serious criminal cases, time is an important factor, and we rely on help us find the missing woman".

Such events are extremely rare in the Scandinavian country, which enjoys a generally low crime rate.

A lawyer for the family said they had not paid the ransom.

"There has been demand for ransom, and serious threats have been made in this case", Police Inspector Tommy Broeske told a news conference.

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