HomeEconomynewsKarl Haub's Alleged Secret Life in Moscow After Faking His Own Death

Karl Haub’s Alleged Secret Life in Moscow After Faking His Own Death


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In April 2018, the perplexing case of Karl-Erivan Haub’s disappearance in the Swiss Alps captured international attention. The German-American billionaire heir to the Tengelmann retail empire had simply vanished into thin air during a solo hike, setting off a massive six-day search that proved futile. Despite deploying helicopters and rescue teams, no trace of Haub was ever found.

Over four years later, a stunning new investigation by German broadcaster RTL now claims the missing businessman staged an elaborate vanishing act – and is alive and well, living under the radar in Moscow with his alleged mistress. If true, it would represent one of the most audacious cons by a wealthy figure in recent memory.

The Mysterious Disappearance

On April 7, 2018, the then 58-year-old Haub set off alone from his luxury Swiss chalet for a morning hike near the Matterhorn peak, telling his wife he’d be back by noon. When he failed to return that afternoon, his family triggered search and rescue efforts that proved fruitless despite deploying helicopters, drones and over 200 emergency workers. 

In the chaotic aftermath, authorities uncovered clues suggesting Haub’s disappearance may have been premeditated rather than accidental. Phone records revealed he had exchanged 13 calls, including one lasting over an hour, with a younger Russian woman named Veronika Ermilova in the three days leading up to his hike. 

But the mystery only deepened from there, and in 2021 German authorities officially declared Haub legally dead after exhausting all leads. His younger brother Christian assumed control of the family’s $36 billion Tengelmann retail empire.

Resurfacing in Russia?

Now, investigative journalists at RTL claim to have uncovered bombshell evidence that Haub orchestrated an elaborate vanishing act to start a new life with his mistress in Moscow. The stunning findings allege he is still alive at age 64 and living comfortably with Ermilova.

“As far as I know, these photos were obtained…by an Israeli-American company that searched the biometric surveillance system in Moscow for images of Karl-Erivan Haub,” RTL’s Liv von Boetticher told reporters, claiming their investigation confirmed Haub had been tracked in the Russian capital as recently as 2021.

The revelations have ignited a firestorm around Christian Haub’s conduct during the original investigation. Prosecutors in Cologne have opened an inquiry into whether he intentionally misled authorities by falsely claiming in an affidavit that he had no knowledge of his brother’s whereabouts.

Christian had even hired a private security firm to supposedly investigate rumors that Karl was still alive. But RTL alleges the elder Haub may have been aware of those efforts and authorized them himself in an attempt to muddy the waters around his disappearance and new life abroad.

A Tangled Web of Theories

Of course, the allegations remain unproven at this stage, and the true circumstances around Haub’s vanishing may never be known. But the sensational claims have fueled a whirlwind of theories about his potential motivations for such an extreme deception.

One leading school of thought is that Haub, a passionate mountaineer and experienced climber, aimed to disappear not just from his powerful family’s suffocating corporate empire, but from the burdens and stresses of their immense wealth altogether.

Having reached his late 50s and facing an eventual relinquishing of control over Tengelmann to his younger brother, Haub may have seen his chance to start life anew.


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