By on July 26, 2016

Bernie Ecclestone (Ryan Bayona/Flickr)

Brazilian media sources say kidnappers are demanding a huge ransom for the safe return of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law.

The São Paulo kidnapping of Aparecida Schunck, mother of Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana Flosi, was reported in Veja and Globo, according to the BBC. The assailants are asking for $36.5 million.

The Friday kidnapping set a new ransom record for a country that’s no stranger to financially motivated crimes. Ecclestone, 85, has a net worth of $3.1 billion, which makes him a ripe target. The British racer-turned-motorsports tycoon married Flosi four years ago.

Brazil is suffering through its worst recession since the 1930s. Unemployment surged in the wake of the economic downturn, and scandal within the country’s government isn’t helping matters. Media reports mention a spike in crime ahead of next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

According to Brazilian media, Schunck’s kidnappers are asking for the ransom to be paid in pounds sterling, divvied up into four bags of cash. Ecclestone hasn’t commented publicly on the situation.

Kidnappings in Brazil are usually carried out by urban organized crime rings, according to The Telegraph. Despite a spike in crime, abductions are on the wane. Most abductions take the form of “express kidnappings,” the publication states, where victims are seized, taken to an ATM, and released after the kidnappers receive relatively small sums of cash.

Ecclestone bought the Brabham Formula One team in 1972 and formed the Formula One Constructors’ Association in 1974. He soon became chief executive of that body, which evolved into today’s Formula One Group.

[Image: Ryan Bayona/Flickr]

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16 Comments on “Kidnappers in Brazil Target Formula One Boss Bernie Ecclestone’s Mother-in-Law...”

  • avatar

    No one is safe in Brazil. Missionaries are constantly being taken hostage or killed. Safer camping downtown Detroit or Miami.

  • avatar

    Shaping up to be a bad week for mothers-in-law. At least Mrs. Schunck wasn’t eaten by a tiger.

  • avatar

    How about a straight-up trade for Bernie? He could then be put in charge of negotiating ransoms on the kidnappers’ behalf. I’m sure that’d be worth a heck of a lot more than $36.5 million.

  • avatar

    bernie should put together a hit squad slash rescue team filled with the hardest ex military men and watch from a drone

    whats the worst that can happen? you lose your mother in law?

  • avatar

    Bernie: “You want me to pay $10 million to get my mother in law back?

    Kidnappers: “Yes!”

    Bernie: “How about I pay you $20 million to keep her?”

  • avatar

    He could offer a 5 million dollar reward for her safe rescue and the capture and conviction of the kidnappers.
    Making a police commander an instant millionaire should be a pretty good motivation to get the job done.

    • 0 avatar

      Not when the police commander himself is (potentially)part of the kidnapping ring.

      In that part of the world kidnapping is a common crime. Ecclestone should have known better.

      Even average ,blue collar folks are targeted for “express kidnappings” where the bad guys take someone and ask for $500, knowing it’s faster for the targets family to raise the money then to risk calling an overburdened and corrupt police force.

      Some of those turds get very clever and simply watch a family’s routine, call a family member when the thugs know the target is unavailable, and claim they’ve been seized and that the ransom payer has 30 minutes to bring X dollars to Y place. Ransom payer gets the shock of their life when the “kidnapped” person shows up from band practice unaware anything amiss happened, besides their cell phone disappearing earlier that day………

  • avatar

    It could be an interesting negotiation.

    Ecclestone: “Why don’t we make it $15 million?”

    Kidnappers: “No, we need to be paid more than that.”

    Ecclestone: “You don’t understand. If you want me to take her back, then you need to pay me $15 million. This is my mother-in-law that we’re talking about here…”

  • avatar

    When I first heard about this story, I thought, “Mother-in-law? She must be like 117 years old!”, then I remembered he has a trophy wife.

  • avatar

    Relying on Mr. Ecclestone to put love before money seems like a losing bet to me…

  • avatar

    Not to worry. He’ll pay –then turn around and threaten the Brazil Grand Prix organizers with an “or else” demand. He’ll profit from the situation.

  • avatar
    Panther Platform

    Somewhat off topic, but someone please help me to understand how such a powerful and wealthy man wears such an awful and ridiculous toupee?

  • avatar

    Reading these comments, it strikes me that the quality of the discussion here is lacking.

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