Norwegian tycoon arrested, suspected of killing missing wife

Norwegian tycoon arrested, suspected of killing missing wife

COPENHAGEN — One of Norway’s wealthiest men was arrested Tuesday in connection with his wife’s 2018 disappearance and held on suspicion of murder or complicity to murder in a case that police had earlier thought was a kidnapping.

Tom Hagen, a media-shy real estate investor and owner of an electric company, was arrested on his way to work, chief police investigator Tommy Broeske said.

Police first reported that Anne-Elizabeth Falkevik Hagen, 69, had been abducted. Police had been told of her disappearance on Oct. 31, 2018, but didn’t publicly speak about it until Jan. 9, 2019, after which hundreds of tips poured in.

“The case is characterized by a clearly planned deception,” Broeske told a news conference Tuesday in Oslo. “As other hypotheses have been weakened, suspicions against Tom Hagen have gradually been strengthened.”

Prosecutor Aase Kjustad Eriksson said authorities would seek Wednesday to have Hagen held for four weeks in pretrial custody and that more arrests were possible.

Police declined to elaborate on a motive due to the ongoing investigation.

The woman that Hagen had married at age 19 disappeared from the couple’s home in Loerenskog, east of Oslo, authorities said.

A ransom for her release was demanded, police said in January 2019 but declined to give the amount. Norwegian newspaper VG said it was for 9 million euros ($850,980) to be paid in a cryptocurrency popular among cyber-criminals.

Police eventually released security videos of men walking back and forth outside Hagen’s workplace. Officers and police dogs were also seen scouring the grounds around the couple’s home and divers went into a nearby pond as police led a large investigation at home and abroad.

In June 2019, police changed their main hypothesis because of the absence of any signs that the missing woman was still alive or any recent contacts with the alleged kidnappers. They believe Falkevik Hagen, who has never been found, had been killed and said they “cannot exclude a staged kidnapping to hide it.”

Tom Hagen, the second-oldest in a farming family of 12 children, struck it rich in the real estate business he started in 1978. His fortune is estimated to be worth nearly 1.7 billion kroner ($161 million).

The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Every Albertan eligible for COVID-19 testing

22 new cases confirmed on Friday

Fast-food restaurants serving up free non-medical masks

Free protection will come in packages of four

Alberta confirms 29 new COVID-19 cases

Of the total 6,955 confirmed cases, 652 are active

VIDEO: Tim Hus performs at Ponoka long-term care facilities

Direct Energy pop-up concerts hope to raise spirits

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

CWB Financial reports Q2 profit down as provisions for credit losses soar

CWB Financial reports Q2 profit down as provisions for credit losses soar

Laurentian Bank Financial Group reports Q2 profit down, cuts quarterly dividend

Laurentian Bank Financial Group reports Q2 profit down, cuts quarterly dividend

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Crude has best month on record in May as prices surge 88 per cent

Crude has best month on record in May as prices surge 88 per cent

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

Hitching a ride: How risky is carpooling during COVID-19 pandemic?

Hitching a ride: How risky is carpooling during COVID-19 pandemic?

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

Most Read