Formula One Chief’s Mother-In-Law Survives Brazilian Kidnapping

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Brazilian authorities rescued Aparecida Schunck, the mother-in-law of billionaire Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, Sunday near Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The 85-year-old racing mogul is worth $3.1 billion, and kidnappers demanded $36.5 million of his fortune in exchange for 67-year-old Schunck. Ecclestone’s mother-in-law was abducted July 22 ahead of the Olympics, and police ultimately managed to secure her release without Schunck being injured, nor did they pay the ransom.

“I only ask for these bandits to be jailed so they can’t abduct anyone else in Sao Paulo,” Schunck said upon her release. The city’s anti-kidnapping division handled the case in Brazil’s largest city.

Ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, security issues have been a major concern for Brazilian organizers. There were worries in June that Rio de Janeiro police would not do their job over pay disputes, as cash-strapped Brazil was having funding issues leading up to the Olympics.

Tensions between the police and the government reached a boiling point when the police stood in the city’s international airport with a sign reading, “WELCOME TO HELL: police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”

Since the particularly confrontational airport protest, it was announced in July that Brazil was investing $26 million into security to ensure the Olympics are a safe event. 88,000 security personnel will be on the lookout for possible danger as a result of the security funding boost.

Ecclestone’s mother-in-law is significantly younger than him because his wife, Fabiana Flosi, is 38-years-old.

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