"95 percent was not an accident": Did Haub have contact with the Russian secret service?

Almost three years ago, Tengelmann boss Karl-Erivan Haub disappeared without a trace on a ski trip in Zermatt. Everything points to a tragic mountain accident. But now almost no one in the family believes in an accident.

Tengelmann boss Karl-Erivan Haub remains missing. For weeks, a team around RTL / ntv reporter Liv von Boetticher has been researching as part of a TVNOW documentary. The investigative journalists have exclusive access to internal Tengelmann documents and are in close contact with the investigative team. Strictly confidential documents point to a decades-long connection between Haub and the Russian secret service.

What really happened in April 2018? To find out, Christian Haub, Karl-Erivan's brother, has already spent more than 1.5 million euros on investigations. RTL / ntv has the extensive material with sources from intelligence circles.

April 7, 2018 promised to be a beautiful day in Zermatt in the early hours of the morning: a cloudless blue sky over the Matterhorn. There is a few centimeters of fresh snow from the days before. Optimal conditions for a day on the mountain. The evening before, Karl-Erivan Haub, known as "Charly", had flown from Cologne to Sion in a private jet from the company Jet Aviation, arriving in Zermatt around 5 pm. The local authorities, together with a private team from Tengelmann, meticulously reconstructed the last hours before his disappearance.

The investigators saw all the cameras in Zermatt and spoke to everyone who was in contact with Haub. Although the billionaire wanted to go on a ski tour early the next day, he made several phone calls that evening. Including one at 8:52 p.m. for 60 minutes to a Russian number and another at 9:54 p.m. to another Russian number. This time for 48 minutes. The next morning he left the Hotel The Omnia, a fine boutique hotel with a view over Zermatt, at 7.30 a.m. and took the first gondola up the mountain.

Normally only the employees of the mountain inns are allowed to ride on this early trip. It is not yet open for regular operation. The last registered dial-in from Haub's telephone to the Swiss cell phone network takes place at 8.33 a.m. Was it turned off afterwards or did it break? Not clear. The iPhone 6S 124 GB is almost fully charged. The last "point of contact" is at 09.09 am: A camera at the ski lift of the "Klein Matterhorn" mountain station records "Charly" one last time. Since that moment there has been no trace of one of the richest people in Germany, Karl-Erivan Haub, who is networked in the highest political circles in Germany and the USA.

Who is Veronika E.?

What is now beginning is an unprecedented search. In the course of the following years it will unearth almost incomprehensible evidence. Christian Haub, who rose to the new CEO position shortly after Karl-Erivan's disappearance, employs private investigative teams to continue the search for his brother. So far, around 1.5 million euros have been spent on this, open-ended. "It was 95 percent not an accident," one of the internal investigators told RTL / ntv exclusively.

The first indication that Haub may not have had an accident comes immediately after the search has started: A "noticeably inconspicuous" couple also rents into The Omnia Hotel, where the search is coordinated in a room on the ground floor. A later check of the passports reveals that they are people who, according to intelligence circles, come from the environment of the Russian intelligence service. A team from RTL / ntv was able to partially verify this information with its own sources.

Furthermore, a check of the last telephone contacts reveals close contact with a Russian woman named Veronika E., according to the internal documents, both of the last cell phone numbers called can be assigned to her. The RTL / ntv team was able to verify both the phone numbers and the affiliation to Veronika E. The Russian is co-owner of an event agency from St. Petersburg, which apparently Not primarily organizes events. The internal Tengelmann papers show that it is rather an agency run by the Russian domestic secret service FSB to get in touch with foreigners.

According to sources from secret service circles, Veronika E. is an active agent and is said to have a helicopter license. Tengelmann's internal investigators are convinced of this representation. Whether Karl-Erivan Haub has or has had a private or professional relationship with the 41-year-old cannot be found in the documents classified as strictly confidential and is also a mystery to investigators. What is certain is that "Charly" and Veronika E. have known each other since at least 2002 and that the young woman also traveled to the USA at the invitation of the family.

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