‘Kidnap’ drama: Brazil police confirm search for Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone’s missing mother-in-law

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 9:40am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 9:40am

Brazilian police on Wednesday confirmed they are investigating the apparent disappearance of the mother-in-law of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone.

A police official speaking on the condition of anonymity said authorities are trying to find 67-year-old Aparecida Schunck. The official has knowledge of the investigation but is not allowed to speak publicly, as is the norm for Brazilian law enforcement officials during ongoing cases.

Several Brazilian news outlets have reported that Schunck was kidnapped in Sao Paulo on Friday and that abductors are demanding a ransom. However, the police official said investigators are looking into other possibilities as well as kidnapping, though he would not specify.

Schunck is the mother of Fabiana Flosi, the motor racing mogul’s wife. Ecclestone met Flosi at a Brazilian Grand Prix and married her in 2012.

Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and the centre of commerce, for decades had problems with kidnappings. But a dedicated police task force has reduced the crime drastically the last 15 years.

Colonle Jose Vicente da Silva, former national public security secretary, said crime bosses in the city have also moved away from abductions. Crime gangs “have the infrastructure to do it, but their leaders think kidnappings lead to police finding out about their bigger drug trafficking activities,” said Da Silva.

The incident comes in the buildup to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Authorities say they will be deploying 85,000 troops and soldiers during the August 5-21 competition.