Good news for the family of Formula One's head honcho. Bernie Ecclestone's mother-in-law has been found and freed following a "major police operation" after being kidnapped in Brazil last week. The captors had been demanding a ransom of approximately $36.5 million.
Aparecida Schunck, the 67-year-old mother of Ecclestone's wife Fabiana Flosi, was taken from her home in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 22nd. Following an investigation, police tracked her down to a house in a lower-class neighborhood in the Brazilian town of Cotia and rescued her safely. Two suspects were arrested by authorities.
Law enforcement listened in on phone calls between the criminals and Schunck's family to gather the information required to release her, the BBC reports. Police reportedly found Schunck tied up but unhurt by her kidnappers, and were able to extract her without injury.
The BBC reports that before Schunck was rescued, Ecclestone wanted to assist police with their efforts by involving a private security firm to go back and forth with the criminals, and also by traveling to Brazil himself to help out personally. Police informed the F1 boss that doing so could have possibly interfered with the investigation. To be honest, proactively helping someone in need sounds a little out of character for the Bernie we know. But hey, maybe he has a sweet spot for his mother-in-law.
Ecclestone, 85, is currently estimated to have a net worth of around $3.1 billion, so he could have shrugged the ransom off as a rounding error. Luckily for him and his family, though, the Brazilian police rendered that course of action unnecessary.