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Police arrest pilot over kidnapping of Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone walks through the paddock with his wife Fabiana Flosi during previews ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 18, 2014 in Singapore, Singapore.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone walks through the paddock with his wife Fabiana Flosi during previews ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 18, 2014 in Singapore, Singapore. Lars Baron/Getty Images

RIO DE JANEIRO — The kidnapping of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law was allegedly planned by one of his helicopter pilots, Sao Paulo police said Monday.

Police said Jorge Eurico da Silva Faria took care of F1 helicopter operations in Sao Paulo until 2014 but still often worked for Ecclestone in Brazil. The pilot was among three men arrested by police in connection with the kidnapping.

Police found 67-year-old Aparecida Schunck, who had been held since Friday last week, tied up but unharmed in a house on the outskirts of Sao Paulo on Sunday.

Schunck is the mother of Fabiana Flosi, married to Ecclestone since 2012.

Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and the center of commerce, for decades has had problems with people being kidnapped and held for ransom, but a dedicated police task force reduced the crime over the last 15 years.

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The incident came just ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Authorities say they are deploying 85,000 troops and soldiers during the Aug. 5-21 competition.