SAO PAULO (Reuters) - No ransom was paid and no shots were fired to free the kidnapped mother-in-law of Formula One empresario Bernie Ecclestone, the governor of Sao Paulo state said on Monday, a day after the 67-year old was freed in a police raid.
Aparecida Schunk was rescued on Sunday evening nine days after being seized at her home.
Three men have been arrested, police said. Two were seized as Schunk was liberated and a third man who masterminded the crime was detained on Monday morning.
The leader of the kidnap gang, who local newspapers said wanted 120 million reais ($36.5 million) in ransom, was a pilot who had worked for Ecclestone’s family, according to news magazine Veja.
Reports said police were led to the hideout by fingerprints left by her captors and CCTV footage showing them exchanging cars as they made their getaway.
Police also examined phone records that helped them identify the gang leader, according to local news reports.
“This is exemplary work,” said state governor Geraldo Alckmin. “The victim was unharmed, no ransom was paid, two criminals were arrested, as was the mastermind of the crime.”
Schunk is the mother of Fabiana Flosi, a 38-year old marketing executive who met Ecclestone, 85, at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Ecclestone, whom Forbes magazine estimates is worth $3.1 billion - along with his family - is one of the most powerful men in sport and married Flosi in 2012.
Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Andrew Hay