Brazilian police arrested Monday the alleged mastermind behind the kidnapping of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone's mother-in-law, a helicopter pilot who worked for the British billionaire's family, officials said.
The arrest came after police rescued Aparecida Schunck Flosi Palmeira, the 67-year-old mother of Ecclestone's Brazilian wife, Fabiana Flosi, on Sunday night after more than a week in captivity.
The pilot, Jorge Eurico da Silva Faria, "planned the kidnapping and knew these people's routines," said the Sao Paulo state security service.
It said the pilot worked for Ecclestone's family. Brazilian news reports said he had also worked for Ecclestone personally.
Schunck, who was kidnapped on July 22, was rescued by the police in a massive night-time raid in the city of Cotia, in the greater Sao Paulo area.
Two suspects were immediately arrested at the scene Sunday.
Schunck was unharmed but shaken after more than a week in captivity.
She spoke briefly to television cameras as she arrived at a police station after being freed, before hugging waiting relatives.
"No one should kidnap anyone in Sao Paulo because they will get arrested," she said, her voice breaking with emotion.
A demand for a ransom of $36.6 million was made to the family, according to weekly news magazine Veja.
But no ransom was paid, according to the governor and police sources.
Kidnappers posing as delivery men abducted Schunck from her home in the Jardin Santa Helena area of Sao Paulo, neighbors told AFP last week.
A police source said investigators managed to identify the abductors' car on security camera footage and traced it to the house where she was held.
Schunck's home is in the southern Interlagos neighborhood, which hosts the Brazilian circuit of the F1 Grand Prix.