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Death of Tetra Pak heir’s wife a ‘mystery’: police

British police were on Wednesday investigating the mysterious death of Eva Rausing, wife of the heir to the Tetra Pak packaging fortune, after arresting a man reported to be her husband.

Death of Tetra Pak heir's wife a 'mystery': police

Rausing, one of Britain’s richest women, was found dead at the luxury home she shared with husband Hans Kristian Rausing in London’s wealthy Belgravia district, London’s Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday.

Officers had found the American’s body on Monday during a search of the five-storey townhouse, after arresting a 49-year-old man, believed to be her husband, on suspicion of possessing drugs.

The man was then further arrested in connection with the 48-year-old woman’s death, but has since been moved to a medical facility where he is still receiving treatment, police said.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard told AFP he was not able to confirm that the suspect is Hans Kristian Rausing, who stands to inherit his Swedish father’s multi-billion dollar carton empire.

The death is being treated as “unexplained”, police said in a statement.

A post mortem on Tuesday failed to establish a formal cause of death and further tests are being carried out.

The family, headed by Rausing’s father Hans, is the 12th richest in Britain, worth £4.3 billion ($6.7 billion), according to The Sunday Times newspaper’s Rich List 2012.

Eva and Hans Kristian Rausing were active philanthropists and enjoyed an affluent lifestyle, spending much of their time in their 11-bedroom mansion in Barbados — but had well-publicised problems with drugs.

The couple, who have four teenage children, first met at a US addiction clinic and were charged in 2008 after Eva tried to take crack cocaine and heroin into a function at the US embassy in London.

Court documents revealed that she had been carrying quantities of crack cocaine, heroin and diethylpropion, a banned stimulant and appetite suppressant.

A further drugs stash of diazepam, a drug used to treat anxiety, was also found in her car, and police found more crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine when they searched the couple’s home.

Although they were initially charged with drugs offences, prosecutors subsequently decided to drop the charges and instead give them a conditional police caution.

“I have made a serious mistake which I very much regret,” Eva had said in a statement at the time.

“I intend to leave as soon as possible to seek the help that I very much need.”

Slim, blonde and glamorous, Eva was the daughter of Tom Kemeny, a wealthy US Pepsi executive whose family lives on an exclusive island off the South Carolina coast.

Her parents said they were “deeply saddened by the death of their beloved daughter”.

“Eva was a devoted wife for 20 years and mother of four much-loved and wonderful children,” they said in a statement on Tuesday.

“During her short lifetime she made a huge philanthropic impact, supporting a large number of charitable causes, not only financially, but using her own personal experiences.

“She bravely fought her health issues for many years. The family is devastated at her death and asks to be given privacy at this difficult time.”

The Rausing family said they were “deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of their daughter-in-law”.

Action on Addiction, one of several addiction charities which the couple supported, said it was “devastated” to hear of her death.

“Without any desire for public recognition, Eva has, through her wonderfully generous support of this and other charities helped so many people for over 20 years,” said a spokesman.

Rausing’s father Hans, 86, moved to England in the 1980s in order to avoid Sweden’s high tax rates and lives with his wife Marit on a vast estate in Sussex, southeast England.

He developed the Tetra Pak business, which had been founded by his own father in 1944, into a multi-billion dollar operation that revolutionized the packaging of food and drink.

He sold his 50 percent stake in the company to his late brother, Gad, in 1995.

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TETRA PAK

Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Rausing dead at 93

Swedish businessman Hans Rausing, credited with turning food packaging company Tetra Pak into a global giant, has died in England aged 93, his family said.

Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Rausing dead at 93
Hans Rausing inherited Tetra Pak from his father Ruben Rausing. Photo: Peter Lyden
“Hans Rausing had exceptional drive, and right to the end a commitment to entrepreneurship in Sweden and around the world,” they wrote in a statement. He died on Friday.
   
His father, Ruben Rausing, co-founded a company in southern Sweden that was an early innovator in food packaging, seeking to move away from bulk sales of foods such as flour and sugar to consumers.
   
Ruben Rausing developed the first cardboard container in the shape of a tetrahedron — a shape made of four triangular sides, also known as a triangular pyramid. It is the shape that gave the company its name.
   
The new packaging was most notably used to sell milk, replacing glass bottles in a pre-plastic revolution for beverage packaging.
   
Born in 1926, Hans Rausing was appointed managing director of Tetra Pak International in 1954, and with his brother Gad led the company for four decades. 
   
He retired as president in 1993, having grown the company from seven employees to 36,000 and giving it a global presence.
   
Under the brothers' leadership, Tetra Pak continued to develop new packaging, creating sterile materials and new shapes, and designed machines for the ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurisation of milk.
   
In 1991, Tetra Pak acquired Alfa Laval, a leading supplier of equipment for the agricultural industry, and the group became known as Tetra Laval. 
 
Rausing, who left Sweden for the United Kingdom in the 1980s for tax reasons, is estimated to have amassed a fortune of some $12 billion (11 billion euros), according to Forbes magazine.
 
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Tragedy struck the family in 2012, when the businessman's daughter-in-law Eva died from a drug overdose aged 48. 
   
Her rotting corpse was found more than two months after her death under a pile of bedding in a room in the London home she shared with Rausing's son, Hans Kristian.  
   
He pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife, and received a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years.
 
He said he could not deal with her death. The couple had met at a drug addiction clinic.
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