American billionaire declared missing after skiing mystery is 'living with mistress in Russia'

American billionaire declared missing after skiing mystery is 'living with mistress in Russia'

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GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 17/04/2024

- 21:25

Karl-Erivan Haub vanished on a solo ski tour in the Alps on April 7, 2018

A billionaire who went missing after a skiing trip could still be alive and living in Russia.

Karl-Erivan Haub, then 58, was last seen at the Klein Matterhorn cable car station above Zermatt in the Swiss Alps on the morning of April 7, 2018.

CCTV cameras at the station captured the moment the marathon runner, expert skier and mountaineer left for the Swiss army’s prestigious and notoriously tough ski mountaineering race, Patrouille des Glaciers, in which he had competed several times before.

It was the last time he was seen. A six-day search yielded no sign of the businessman, and he was declared dead by a German court in 2021.

K\u200barl-Erivan Haub

Karl-Erivan Haub disappeared from the Swiss Alps


Now a new investigation led by German broadcaster RTL claims to have identified Haub in Moscow and believes the tycoon is there with a much younger mistress named Veronika Ermilova.

Haub, the former managing director and part owner of German supermarket and retail giant Tengelmann Group, has had alleged appearances in Russia, which may have come as the result of shady business dealings.

According to the investigation, retail mogul Haub, who would now be aged 64, is alleged to have called Ermilova's phone 13 times in the three days before he vanished in 2018.

These calls were substantial, with one lasting more than an hour. This led to suspicions he was plotting to fake his death with help from Moscow and Ermilova.


\u200bKarl-Erivan Haub

Karl-Erivan Haub, billionaire chief of Germany's sprawling Tengelmann retail group in 2016


Ermilova, 44, ran an "inconspicuous" event agency in St. Petersburg, which organised skiing, hiking and climbing excursions for outdoor enthusiasts. However, she is also suspected of being involved with Russia's FSB security service.

She is now listed on LinkedIn as a Marketing Director at Russian Event, which is styled as a travel experience company. While investigators suggested that she "may work for the FSB", they stressed this cannot be proven.

The report said: "What can be proven, however, is that she is always in the same places at the same time as Karl-Erivan Haub,' said the report. In July 2008, both were in Moscow and Sochi within a few days.

"In May 2009, both travelled on the same night train from Moscow to St Petersburg, in separate compartments. The trips were booked at the same time and by the same person. Further overlaps of short trips by Haub and [Ermilova] can be found for stays in Omsk (2010), Sochi (2011), Baku (2014) and Moscow (2015, 2017).'

The report says: "It is not clear why these alleged meetings took place. It doesn't sound like a love vacation."

RTL journalist Liv von Boetticher said: "Karl-Erivan Haub is known to have done business with questionable people in the Russian economy.

"Our assumption is that business with Russia or with Russian business partners could have got Karl-Erivan in trouble in the West.

"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.

"(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."

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