Tom Hagen, the millionaire husband whose wife was kidnapped, was initially helping the police track down his wife’s kidnappers. However, he has now been arrested as one of the suspects in the kidnapping. According to the police, he was behind the whole saga.
The Kidnapping that Made Headlines
In 2018, the Norwegian millionaire contacted the police alleging that his wife had been kidnapped. He added that the kidnappers were demanding to be paid $10 million in the Monero cryptocurrency. According to him, the demand was contained in an en suite bathroom that he and Anne-Elizabeth Falkevik Hagen, his wife, shared. The note was incoherent and filled with grammar issues. It stated that the wife would be murdered if he called the police. However, Hagen decided to contact the police anyway.
At the home, the police could not find evidence of forced entry. However, they said that they found evidence of a struggle in the bathroom. The police postulated that Mrs. Hagen might have been trying to hide from the kidnappers when they came into the home.
During the kidnapping, Hagen had been embroiled in a lawsuit against a consulting firm and a Russian consultant, who was the representative of a steel firm. The issue of contention was an accounting scandal, which had cost Hagen and his partners over $4 million.
After he reported the incident, the authorities requested Hagen to keep things quiet. After 10 weeks, they revealed the kidnapping to the police in January 2019. The police at the time stated that Mrs. Hagen was most likely taken from her home. They added that they had no proof of whether she was dead or alive.
The Police Now Suspect Hagen
Recently, the police arrested Hagen while he was headed to work. He has been charged with murder or being an accessory to murder. The new theory that the police now have is that Hagen either murdered his wife or arranged for her to be murdered. To date, the police have never found his wife’s body. They recently searched the couple’s residence again but they did not find anything.
An official from the Norwegian police said that Hagen had set up the ruse of the crypto ransom intentionally to throw the police off. He added that as other leads they pursued weakened, their suspicion of Hagen had strengthened.
The Norwegian millionaire will remain in custody for weeks during the pretrial periods. According to the prosecutor heading the case, there is evidence of premeditated misdirection by Hagen. Additionally, he said they have not ruled out other arrests.
Monero is a privacy coin that is virtually impossible to track on the blockchain. This is actually much different than Bitcoin and Ethereum, in which transactions can be traced. However, the growing use of crypto by criminals might have been his main motivating reason. No doubt, stories involving crimes committed using crypto usually receive a lot of attention in the media. However, it is important to keep in mind that all financial crimes before crypto were committed using fiat currencies. Consequently, regulators globally should not approach the crypto sector with any bias. It is up to the crypto community to come up with useful use cases for crypto to help change the narrative that only criminals are interested in using crypto.
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