Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, was arrested by police on suspicion of drug possession
Officers went to his home in exclusive Cadogan Place, Chelsea, where they found body of wife Eva, 48
Rausing, whose father Hans has built up a £5.4bn fortune with packaging firm Tetra Pak, is tonight being questioned by Scotland Yard detectives
By CHRIS GREENWOOD
One of Britain’s richest men has been arrested over the death of his wife after she was found dead from a suspected drug overdose.
Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, was tonight being questioned by Scotland Yard detectives after the body of his American wife Eva, 48, was found at their home.
Forensics experts are examining their home in Cadogan Place, Chelsea, one of the most expensive addresses in Britain.
Found dead: Eva Rausing, left, was discovered at her exclusive Chelsea home having apparently died of a drugs overdose. Her husband Hans, right, was arrested
Rausing, the son of Tetra Pak tycoon Hans Rausing, 86, and heir to a £5.4billion fortune, was arrested after being caught with drugs in South London yesterday.
Police then went to search his home and discovered the body of his wife in an upstairs bedroom at the five-storey Georgian townhouse.
An investigation is under way to determine the cause of her death which police have described as ‘unexplained’.
Fortune: Hans, left, is heir to his father's £5.4bn packaging fortune
Investigation: The house where Mrs Rausing's body was found was sealed off by police and an officer stood guard at the entrance
TETRA PAK: A FORTUNE BUILT ON INGENUITY AND FORESIGHT
Founded more than 60 years ago, Tetra Pak has grown to become the world's largest food packaging company, operating in more than 170 countries and employing more than 22,000 staff.
The company owes its success to - and takes its name from - the tetrahedron food package, which revolutionised the storage of items such as milk, soups and drinks.
Tetra Pak was created by Ruben Rausing in 1951, as a subsidiary to Akerland & Rausing, a food carton company which was set up by Rausing and the industrialist Erik Åkerlund in Malmo, Sweden, in 1929.
Rausing, who had studied in New York during the early 1920s, was inspired by self-service grocery stores he saw in the US, which were rarely found in Europe at the time.
He decided that pre-packaging would become part of the future of food retailing, as distributing staple items in glass bottles and paper wraps was less hygienic and practical, and so invested in new techniques.
Rausing and Åkerlund bought a factory in Scandinavia but by 1933 Åkerlund sold his share to Rausing, whose family later oversaw a dramatic expansion of the business.
For some four decades, the company was headed by Rausing's sons, Hans and Gad, who oversaw its growth from a small family business with only six employees in the early 1950s to a major multinational.
By 1960 the company had opened a plant in Mexico and was producing more than 1billion cartons a year. Within four years, the production output had more than trebled.
By the late 1970s, the company had major business interests in Spain, Australia, Japan, France, Italy and Iran, and even had a training school in Kenya. Ruben Rausing died in 1983, by which time the company was running plants in Pakistan, Kenya and Finland.
More than 129billion Tetra Pak units were produced by the company in 2006.
The company is now privately owned by the family of Gad Rausing through the Swiss-based holding company Tetra Laval. Tetra Pak's head offices are based in Lund, Sweden, and Lausanne, Switzerland.
Rausing, who was re-arrested in connection with the death, remained in custody this evening at a South London police station.
Four years ago Mrs Rausing was caught trying to smuggle heroin and crack into a function at the American Embassy in London.
When police searched the couple’s home they found more crack and heroin – and £2,000 worth of cocaine.
But they escaped trial as when the case came to court prosecutors announced they had been handed conditional cautions instead.
After the hearing Mr Rausing’s family said they ‘hope with all our hearts’ that the couple can ‘overcome their addiction’ and pledged to help.
Mr Rausing’s father, Hans, was one of the founders of the packaging giant Tetra Laval which created the modern milk carton.
He moved to the UK in the 1980s to avoid punitive Swedish taxes and now lives on a 900-acre estate in East Sussex. He is listed as one of Britain’s richest men.
The couple moved into their five-storey mansion in Cadogan Terrace after selling another property near-by for £12.65m six years ago.
They also have an 11-bedroomed beachside mansion in Barbados, one of the biggest on the island, and a large apartment on The World, a cruise ship for passengers who need to be offshore for tax-avoidance purposes.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘On Monday a 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs. Following a subsequent search of an address in Cadogan Place SW1 a body was found.
‘The death is being treated as unexplained. A post mortem was conducted at 1pm today at Westminster mortuary.
‘We believe we know the identity of the deceased but await confirmation.
‘The 49-year-old man was further arrested in connection with the death and is currently in custody at a south London police station.’
Hans Rausing is one of three children to Hans Rausing senior, who built up the Tetra Pak drinks carton empire. Eva was the daughter of a wealthy Pepsi executive.
But although the couple lived a life of immense luxury - with homes in London, Barbados and an apartment on The World luxury cruise ship - they have both battled drug addiction.
Tragic: Eva Rausing, pictured after she was arrested for drug possession in 2008, was found dead by police officers
The Tetra Pak lightweight cardboard carton was invented by Rausing's Swedish grandfather Ruben, but it was his father Hans Rausing senior who turned the brainwave into a multi-billion pound global brand.
In 1996 Mr Rausing senior sold his 50 per cent share in the hugely successful business to his brother Gad for £4billion.
Mr Rausing senior no longer has any shares in the company.
Unlike his workaholic father, Hans Kristian Rausing has developed a reputation as a former wild child and hippy who, as a youth, spent several years living in India.
He now has no involvement in the Tetra Pak business and holds no other UK company directorships. It is not known whether he has a job.
The couple are said to have enjoyed playing tennis and visiting the opera.
Eva Rausing is the daughter of millionaire American businessman Tom Kemeny, a former Pepsi executive who owns an island off South Carolina. Her younger sister Be was married to model Jodie Kidd's polo playing brother Jack.
In recent years the Rausings have donated millions of pounds to charity. They are particularly closely involved The Mentor Foundation and Action on Addiction, both charities which work to keep young people off drugs.
Fortune: Swedish businessman billionaire Hans Rausing has a reported personal wealth of £5.4bn. His son, also called Hans, is in police custody
Multi-million-pound property: The Rausing home in Cadogan Place where Eva was found dead by police officers
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