A reported abduction in Brazil is sending shock waves through the sporting world, as the mother-in law of Bernie Ecclestone, the billionaire who runs the Formula One Group, is apparently being held for ransom.
From Rio de Janeiro, NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro reports for our Newscast unit:
“Bernie Ecclestone is the head of the Formula One car racing franchise and one of the richest men in Britain. His wife is Brazilian, and her mother was apparently grabbed by criminals in Sao Paulo, who are asking for a $37 million ransom from the billionaire.
“Information is scant and local press have said they won’t report details in order to protect the victim. NPR contacted the anti-kidnapping police in Brazil, who declined to comment. Kidnapping in Brazil is rare these days, but security across the country has deteriorated on the back of a historic recession.”
News of the kidnapping also comes as Brazil prepares to host the Olympic Games that’ll be centered in Rio but will also feature events in several other cities, including Sao Paulo.
Ecclestone, 85, is listed by Forbes as controlling family wealth of more than $3 billion; he met his wife, Fabiana Flosi, at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2009 and married her in 2012, according to the BBC. Ecclestone is divorced from Slavica Radic, with whom he has two children.