Formula One chief currently negotiating for her release

Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law, 67-year-old Aparecida Schunck, was reportedly kidnapped in Sao Paulo, Brazil last Friday and is currently being held for ransom. According to the Brazilian magazine Veja, Ms. Schunck was abducted from outside her home in the Sao Paulo neighborhood of Interlagos. The report goes on to say that the kidnappers are demanding 120 million Brazilian Reals (approximately $36.5 million) for her return, to be paid in pound sterling divided into four separate bags. If confirmed, it’ll be the highest kidnapping ransom in Brazilian history.

Ecclestone, the 85-year-old chief executive of the Formula One Group, is believed to be one of the wealthiest men in sports, with a net worth of billions of dollars. Ms. Schunck is the mother of Ecclestone’s third wife, 38-year-old Fabiana Flosi.

This isn’t the first time Ecclestone has faced a kidnapping. Four years ago, British citizen Martin Peckham was sentenced to five years in jail for blackmail after demanding 200,000 pounds from Ecclestone, claiming that he could foil a plot to kidnap Ecclestone’s daughter, Tamara.

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This latest, high-profile kidnapping comes just a few weeks out from the Rio Olympics, an event already mired by setbacks and controversy. It further underlines the economic trouble of the region, and does not bode well for a country banking on a boost to tourism from the upcoming games.

Furthermore, kidnapping is quite common in Brazil, and although it’s not quite as rampant as it was prior to the police’s formation of an anti-kidnapping division, crime is still obviously a widespread issue.

Source: Veja

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