Bernie Ecclestone mother-in-law - The mother-in-law of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who was kidnapped in Brazil, has been freed unharmed without any ransom being paid, say police.
Aparecida Schunck, 67, the mother of Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana Flosi, was abducted from her Sao Paulo home on 22 July.
A ransom of $36.5 million was demanded, but none was paid, according to Elisabete Sato of the Sao Paulo police. Sato said there was a major police operation to free the victim. Two suspects were arrested and the victim was not injured.
Schunck was freed after being traced to a house near Sao Paulo after investigators monitored phone calls between the kidnappers and her family, police say.
“I only ask for these bandits to be jailed so they can’t abduct anyone else in Sao Paulo,” Schunck said shortly after she was freed. The house where Schunck was held for nine days is located in a poor neighborhood of the town of Cotia and is divided into five apartments.
The owner of the house, who lived in one of the apartment at the back of the building, said his wife had not stopped crying since she had found out that Schunck had been held “right under our noses.”
The owner said one of the suspects arrested on Sunday had started renting the apartment three months previously and had told him he worked nightshifts. He said he had recently gone to the one-bedroom apartment to check on the state of the kitchen, but had been told by his tenant that his girlfriend lives in the dwelling.
Residents described how police broke down the door to the garage the suspect had rented along with the apartment and entered the property on Sunday evening. An unnamed police officer told local media they found Schunck “tied up” but otherwise unharmed.
Ecclestone had wanted to help in the investigation and had even offered the services of a private security company to deal with the kidnappers. But Brazilian police told him that his presence in Brazil might be counterproductive and advised him and his wife to remain in the UK.
Ecclestone, 85, is one of the most powerful men in sport and is worth an estimated $3.1 billion. He married Flosi, 38, in 2012, three years after meeting her at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Wealthy families often pay all or part of a ransom to free captives, fearing that if they do not the situation could end in tragedy. Kidnapping was common in Brazil a decade ago, with Sao Paulo seeing an abduction every 27 hours in 2002, but declined after police formed a special anti-kidnap division and cracked down.