Tetra Pak heir escapes drugs charges

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The Independent Online

Prosecutors will drop drugs charges against the heir to a multi-billion-pound business fortune, a court was told today.

Hans Kristian Anders Rausing, 45, was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court today, accused of possessing Class A drugs.

But during a short hearing in his absence, prosecutor Martha Godwin said the charges will be dropped in place of a conditional caution.

District Judge Timothy Workman said three drugs charges against Mr Rausing will be formally discontinued during a hearing on 12 August.

Similar charges against his wife, Eva Louise Rausing, 44, who also was not present in court, will be dropped as well, the court heard.

Mrs Godwin asked for the case to be adjourned so that conditional cautions could be issued by local police.

The couple's solicitor, Philip Smith, said: "On behalf of both my clients that is a course that is acceptable to them both.

"There has been a protracted course of correspondence from my office to the Crown Prosecution Service to enable them to make that very sensible decision."

Mr Rausing stands to inherit the £5.4 billion Tetra Pak drinks carton empire built up by his Swedish father, also named Hans.

The couple were arrested in April after Mrs Rausing allegedly tried to smuggle small amounts of crack cocaine and heroin into the US embassy in London.

Their £5 million Georgian five-storey townhouse in prestigious Cadogan Place, Chelsea, was subsequently searched.

Following a Scotland Yard investigation, they were charged with the drugs offences on July 13 and released on bail.

According to court documents, Mr Rausing was charged with possessing 0.2oz (5.63g) of crack cocaine, 0.1oz (2.9g) of heroin and almost 1.8oz (52g) of cocaine at his home on April 8.

Mrs Rausing faced charges of possessing Class A and Class C drugs.

In a statement released earlier today, Mr Rausing's parents and siblings said they are supporting the couple as they fight to overcome drug addiction.

It read: "The Rausing family are deeply saddened by Hans K's and Eva's situation, and the events leading up to their court appearance today.

"We hope with all our hearts that Hans K and Eva can overcome their addiction and we continue to do what we can to help."

Mr Workman said: "I will remand the case to August 12. The defendants' bail is enlarged to that date so the matter can proceed in the way police and the prosecution suggest.

"I hope the notice of discontinuation can be served in good time so they do not need to attend."

Two members of the Rausing family who accompanied the family's legal representatives in court declined to comment as they left.

Mr Rausing's father created the Tetra Pak empire with his late brother, Gad. His fortune places the family seventh on the Sunday Times Rich List.