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Tetra-Pak billionaire Rausing sees drugs charges dropped

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13:48 CEST+02:00
A London court has formally dropped drugs charges faced by Tetra-Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing and his wife Eva. The pair were charged after Eva Rausing tried to smuggle in crack cocaine and heroin into a US embassy reception in London in April this year.

Police later searched the couple's house in the city's exclusive Chelsea district, where they found crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine.

Although the couple were initially charged with drugs offences, prosecutors subsequently decided to drop the charges and instead give them a conditional police caution. This decision means the couple admitted possessing the drugs.

"The Crown Prosecution Service has discontinued proceedings," said judge Timothy Workman at Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London.

"It is not a matter in which the court has any control or authority. The matter is now discontinued." The couple were not in court.

The decision to drop the prosecution has been criticized by London's police chief Sir Ian Blair, who said it sent the wrong message about drug abuse.

"I do find that result extremely surprising and it reminds me of the 19th century legal comment... 'In England, justice is open to all - just like the Ritz,'" he said.

Last month, Hans Kristian Rausing's family issued a statement saying they were "deeply saddened" by the events leading up to their arrests and vowed to help the couple overcome their addictions.

The Rausing family, headed by Hans Kristian Rausing's father Hans, is worth some £5.4 billion ($10.8 billion dollars), according to this year's Sunday Times Rich List.

The Swedish Rausings made their fortune when Hans Kristian Rausing's grandfather founded the company that makes and sells drinks cartons all over the world.

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