Disappeared on the Matterhorn: where is billionaire Karl-Erivan Haub?

Disappeared on the Matterhorn
Where is billionaire Karl-Erivan Haub?

Former Tengelmann boss Karl-Erivan Haub has been missing since April 2018. The billionaire did not return after a ski tour in Zermatt, Switzerland. His body was never found. The manager was pronounced dead. But research by RTL/stern investigative reporter and book author Liv von Boetticher raises questions as to whether Haub might not be alive and in hiding in Moscow. Since Karl-Erivan’s disappearance, his brother Christian has been running the family business. The Cologne public prosecutor’s office is examining whether they will apply to the Cologne district court to have the declaration of death for Haub lifted. The reason are documents submitted by the RTL journalist.

ntv.de: You have been researching the disappearance of Karl-Erivan Haub for more than two years. What speaks for the fact that Haub did not have an accident but possibly went into hiding?

Liv von Boetticher: At the beginning of the research, our team was given access to internal Tengelmann documents. It shows that the family had commissioned internal and external investigators to determine beyond a doubt whether Haub was still alive or whether he had died. An internal document, for example, states that the chance of a mountain accident a week after the disappearance was only five percent.

What were the reasons for these doubts?

Shortly after Haub’s disappearance, the most extensive search and rescue operation to date began on the Matterhorn. But Haub was not found. There was no trace – no traces leading into crevasses, no glove, no hat, nothing. Also, the cell phone was turned off the morning of his disappearance. Internal investigators discovered clues leading to Russia early on. The night before, Haub had spent a very long time on the phone with a Russian woman who they later assigned to the Russian secret service. A “dubious couple” appeared in Zermatt who observed the coordination of the rescue measures in the hotel where the family and the internal investigators were staying. These people were later assigned to the Russian secret service by internal investigators. The Tengelmann investigators then hired external private investigators who did research in Russia and, for example, had the woman with whom Haub called before he disappeared followed.

Before his disappearance, Haub had business connections in Russia…


The Tengelmann file and the mysterious disappearance of billionaire Karl-Erivan Haub: What role does the Russian secret service play and why German authorities are not investigating


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Yes. He had traveled to Russia several times. Tengelmann planned to open branches of the discounter Plus there. However, Haub’s business partners were men who could in good conscience be described as money launderers – shareholders in a bank that has been described as “the most criminal bank” in the country. Tengelmann invested millions in the project. But not a single branch was opened. Why did Haub set up an unsuccessful joint venture with these partners? One can only speculate about that.

What are your reasons for suspecting that Haub could have gone into hiding in Russia?

What is suspicious is that after the unsuccessful search in Zermatt, the FBI and CIA also turned up there to conduct their own research. Haub was or is also a US citizen. The investigators commissioned by Tengelmann suspect that he may have been targeted by the US authorities because of his dubious contacts in Russia. It is possible that these contacts would have led to difficulties with the US judiciary.

You’ve seen several photos that are said to show Haub in Moscow after his disappearance…

An informant showed me the photos. They are of good quality. A man can be seen from a short distance. According to the informant, the photos come from Moscow’s biometric surveillance system. There are around 200,000 cameras hanging there. The statements of our informant also coincide with the statements of the internal Tengelmann investigators, according to which it was very certain in February 2021 that the final proof of Mr. Haub’s survival would be obtained by Easter 2021. An Israeli-American company had been commissioned for this purpose.

You can see Haub in the photos?

I can’t say that with certainty. But the man in the photos looks like Haub. He wears a thick blue winter jacket and a hat. Local residents also want to have recognized him during an on-site visit by investigators, the source told a lawyer and me. Of course, nowadays you never know whether it could be a fake, for example with the help of artificial intelligence. However, one indication speaks against the fact that it is a forgery: Christian Haub had promised the internal investigators a very high amount if they could provide proof of Haub’s death or continued life. Evidence that can also be verified by third parties and stands up in court. According to our research, this performance-related fee was paid out. A significant increase in the balance sheet in the consulting firm of the head of security can be proven in the Federal Gazette. However, neither Christian Haub nor his internal investigators wanted to answer our very explicit questions about the photos and the payment. Reference is made to an old statement from two years ago. As far as the new developments are concerned, there is silence.

Why don’t you post the photos?

That would endanger the sources.

Jan ganger spoke to Liv von Boetticher

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