All in the Family: F1 Boss Ecclestone's Mom-in-Law Rescued
Rarely does a high-profile hostage-taking resolve itself in such a nice, PG-13 film manner.
Aparecida Schunck, the 67-year-old mother-in-law of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, was found tied up in a dingy apartment near São Paulo, nine days after her kidnapping, the BBC reported last night.
Schunck, mother of Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana Flosi, was snatched from her São Paulo home by kidnappers demanding a $36.5 million ransom from the F1 tycoon. That ransom was to be paid in pounds sterling, with the cash split into four bags.
After tracing phone calls between the kidnappers and Schunck’s family, Brazilian police forces raided a home in the nearby town of Cotia. The house, located in a poverty-stricken neighbourhood, contained five apartments. Police entered the apartment via a garage rented by one of the kidnappers.
In this case, everyone except the kidnappers got what they wanted. Schunck was rescued unharmed, two suspects were arrested, and Ecclestone’s fortune remains intact. The ransom wasn’t paid.
“I only ask for these bandits to be jailed so they can’t abduct anyone else in São Paulo,” Schunck told Brazilian media.
The BBC reports that Ecclestone wanted to go to São Paulo to help the investigation, and even offered up the services of a private security firm. Hey, a man of means has…means. However, local authorities advised against it, and both Ecclestone and Flosi stayed home in the UK.
Ecclestone, head of the Formula One Group, is reportedly worth $3.1 billion, making his family a ripe target for kidnappers. Holding people for ransom is on the decline among Brazil’s criminal set — bandits now prefer lower-risk “express kidnappings” that end after the victim performs an ATM transaction.
[Image: Silverstone Circuit/ Flickr]
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Bernie's a tough negotiator. Ask the teams and race promoters.
That's her, on the left.