The mother-in-law of Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has gone missing in Brazil. Aparecida Schunck, 67, was reportedly abducted from her home in São Paulo late Friday night. Now, police have confirmed that she is being held captive for ransom.
That's per TMZ, which claims to have spoken to the local law enforcement agency investigating Schunck’s disappearance. According to the entertainment news site, a spokesperson from Policia Civil do Estado de São Paulo says the kidnappers are demanding 120 million Reais ($36.7 million) for Schunck’s return, to be paid in British pounds sterling and divided into four bags. According to Veja, the Brazilian magazine that originally broke the story, that's the largest amount ever demanded by captors in the country.
Kidnapping is endemic in the region. Statistics are obfuscated by a number of factors, including corruption, but estimates put Brazil in the running for the highest violent crime rate worldwide. Safety has been of particular concern heading into the 2016 Rio Olympics, and this high-profile case certainly isn't going to help the country’s cause.
As of Wednesday evening, Ecclestone is yet to comment on the case.