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Billionaire declared dead three years ago found with mistress in Russia

An investigation has claimed that a German-American billionaire who disappeared under mysterious circumstances near Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn peak six years ago, is suspected to be residing in Moscow with a Russian mistress, major global media reporting the issue have said.

In April 2018, Karl-Erivan Haub, a retail tycoon, went missing while training for a ski mountaineering race in Zermatt, Switzerland. He was last spotted heading up the mountain in a lift one morning by himself.

His trainer said this was unusual, as he was known to be safety-conscious and well-prepared. He didn’t make it back to his hotel.

Despite an extensive six-day search involving multiple helicopters and alpine rescuers, his body could not be located. Three years later in 2021, a German court declared him legally dead.

Haub is the former managing director and part owner of German supermarket and retail giant Tengelmann Group.

He left behind his wife, two children and a company of approximately 75,000 employees.

His younger brother, Christian Haub, was named the sole CEO of Tengelmann after he disappeared.

In 2021, Christian, swore in a courtroom, stating that there was no indication that the billionaire, who was believed to have a net worth of £5.2 billion, was still alive.

However, a recent investigation by German broadcaster RTL has allegedly located Haub in Moscow, accompanied by a significantly younger woman named Veronika Ermilova.

According to the report, Haub was leading a secret double life with Ermilova, who is said to have connections to a Russian event management agency.

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According to the investigation by RTL and media outlet Stern, Haub, who would now be aged 64, is alleged to have made 13 phone calls to Ermilova’s phone in the three days leading up to his disappearance in 2018.

The phone conversations were significant, with one lasting over an hour, which raised suspicions that he may have been planning to stage his own death with assistance from Moscow and Ermilova.

RTL journalist Liv von Boetticher said she had obtained photos in the fall of 2022 that appeared to show Haub in Moscow in February 2021.

“To my knowledge, these photos were available to Christian Haub at the time when he gave a sworn statement to the Cologne district court in May 2021 that he had ‘no reliable evidence’ that his brother was still alive,” she said.

Boetticher said that there was “an alleged lover of Karl-Erivan Haub with whom he had intense telephone contact before his disappearance and who has connections with the Russian domestic intelligence service the FSB.”

In an interview with Die Welt, a German national daily newspaper, Boetticher raised the possibility that Haub may have been collaborating with the Russians.

“He could have been acting as a kind of influence agent for Russia in Germany… It’s not about an agent with a floppy hat and a trench coat or a James Bond, but about influence on politics and the economy.

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“(His disappearance came) at a time when Tengelmann was doing pretty badly… and was expanding into Russia with the Obi DIY chain, for example.’

“I am sure it was not a skiing accident, but a staged escape.”

Boetticher stated that the businessman’s motivation is likely his strong business ties to the country.

“Our suspicion is that dealings with Russia or with Russian business partners could have got Karl-Erivan in trouble in the West,” she said.

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