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F1 boss Ecclestone's mother-in-law kidnapped - reports

Mirko Stange/Sutton Images

News reports in Brazil say the mother-in-law of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has been kidnapped in Sao Paulo for a ransom of $36.5 million (£28 million).

The reports, first seen in Brazilian magazine Veja, say Aparecida Schnuck, the 67-year-old mother of Ecclestone's third wife Fabiana Flosi, was seized in the Interlagos area on Friday. Veja states the kidnappers have demanded the ransom be paid in pounds sterling and be divided into four bags of cash.

If the financial demand figure is accurate it would be the largest ransomin Brazil's history. The abduction has occurred with less than two weeks to go until the start of the Olympic Games in Rio, with Brazil currently experiencing its worst economic crisis for decades.

Ecclestone met Flosi, now 38, at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix and the pair were married three years later. It is not the first time Ecclestone has been involved in a kidnapping situation -- in 2012 Martin Peckham was jailed for five years are threatening to abduct Ecclestone's daughter Tamara unless he was paid £200,000.