Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law Aparecida Schunck was rescued Sunday after being reportedly abducted at knife-point in Brazil for a ransom of $37.5 million. Police have arrested two of the kidnappers and have now reportedly detained a helicopter pilot close to Ecclestone.
According to the report by Motorsport.com, helicopter pilot Jorge Eurico da Silva was detained by police on the suspicion that he was the mastermind in the plot to kidnap Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law.
From Motorsport’s report:
Jorge Eurico da Silva, a helicopter pilot who worked for Ecclestone and the family of his wife Fabiana, is suspected of being the mastermind behind the kidnap plot.
Sao Paulo’s police department uncovered his involvement in the affair after tracing phone calls between him and the two other suspects - Vitor Oliveira Amorim and David Vicente Azevedo.
The two other kidnappers were arrested and Schunck was rescued on Sunday afternoon without a gunshot fired or any of the ransom paid. Jorge Eurico da Silva was later arrested from a luxury condo not far from the kidnapper’s hideout.
According to The Daily Mail, Jorge Eurico da Silva was the president of the Brazilian Helicopter Pilot’s Association in Brazil up to 2015, and previously overlooked Formula 1 helicopter operations in Sao Paolo back in 2014.
Silva’s close connection in piloting Ecclestone would be perfect for someone planning such a high profile abduction. Speaking to The Daily Mail, Ecclestone said he was “very happy” about his mother-in-law’s rescue and praised the police force for doing “an unbelievable job, it was absolutely first class.”
Update: ‘Formula 1 Pilot’ was removed from the headline. Jorge Eurico da Silva was once responsible for Formula 1 helicopter operations but has also worked directly for Bernie Ecclestone.