Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Bernie Ecclestone's helicopter pilot arrested for part in kidnapping of F1 boss's mother-in-law

Bernie Ecclestone with his wife Fabiana Flosi Credit: Reuters

One of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone's helicopter pilots has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of his mother-in-law in Brazil.

A spokesman for Sao Paulo police said da Silva Faria was arrested "red handed" with two other men, Vitor Oliveira Amorim and David Vicente Azevedo.

"The investigation continues and the police did not rule out the involvement of other suspects," he said.

Aparecida Schunck, 67, the mother of Ecclestone's wife Fabiana Flosi, 38, was abducted from her home in Sao Paulo over a week ago for a ransom of £28 million.

Pilot Jorge Eurico da Silva Faria, who works for Ecclestone in Brazil, is one of three men arrested in connection with the kidnapping, said police.

It is believed investigators monitored phone calls between the family of Ms Schunck and the captors, tracing them to the location where she was being held.

Brazilian police said they rescued Ms Schnuck from two men on the outskirts of the capital on Sunday.

She was was unharmed in the operation conducted by Sao Paulo's anti-kidnapping division.

Elisabete Sato of Sao Paulo police told the BBC that the ransom, which was thought to have been the largest in Brazil's history, had not been paid.

It is believed the suspects were traced after investigators monitored phone calls between Ms Schunk's family and the abductors.

She said there had been a major police operation to rescue the victim, and that two suspects had been arrested.

Mr Ecclestone has declined to comment on the abduction.

It is understood he wanted to fly to Brazil to assist police and also offered the use of a private security company to help with the investigation.