LONDON — Billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing, the heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, was on Tuesday charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of his US-born wife Eva, British police said.
Police discovered the body of Eva Rausing at the couple’s home in London’s upscale Belgravia district last week after they detained her husband over drugs charges.
Rausing will appear in custody at West London Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, police said in a statement.
At the opening of an inquest into her death on Friday, Scotland Yard detective Sharon Marman said Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, was under medical supervision and detectives had been unable to interview him.
Marman said police had stopped Hans Kristian Rausing’s car in south London because they suspected he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and they discovered a small amount of drugs.
“Authority was granted to search the home address… and during the course of that search officers discovered the apparently lifeless body of a female in one of the bedrooms,” she said.
A post-mortem examination proved inconclusive and further test results are awaited, Marman said.
The Rausing family, headed by Rausing’s father Hans, is the 12th richest in Britain, worth £4.3 billion ($6.7 billion, 5.4 billion euros), 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.
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 revolutionised the packaging of food and drink.