Police rescue Bernie Ecclestone's mother-in-law from kidnappers

The mother-in-law of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been freed in Brazil without any ransom being paid. A major police operation was launched to rescue Aparecida Schunck, 67, following her abduction from her home 10 days ago. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of £28million, but no money was handed over, Elisabete Sato of the São Paulo police told the BBC.

Ms Schunck was rescued after being traced to a farmhouse near São Paulo. Investigators were able to track down her location after monitoring phone calls between the kidnappers and Ms Schunck's family. Two suspects have been arrested and the victim was found unharmed.


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Bernie Ecclestone and his wife Fabiana Flosi

According to reports, Bernie, 85, had wanted to travel to Brazil to help with the investigation, and had also offered the services of a private security company to locate 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.

Ms Schunck is the mother of Bernie's third wife, Fabiana Flosi, 38. The British business magnate – who is one of the UK's wealthiest men with an estimated fortune of £2.3billion ($3.1billion) – married Fabiana in 2012, three years after they met at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

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Ms Schunck was taken from her home in São Paulo on 22 July

São Paulo, Brazil's largest city, has long had problems with kidnapping and ransom demands, but a dedicated police task force has drastically reduced the crime over the past 15 years.  

This latest high-profile incident, which was described as the biggest ever kidnapping ransom in Brazil, comes just ahead of the start of the Rio 2016 Olympics on 5 August. Amid heightened security concerns, authorities have said they will be deploying 85,000 troops and soldiers during the competition to help ensure that everything runs smoothly.

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