The mother-in-law of billionaire Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has reportedly been kidnapped in Brazil with gangsters demanding £27.8 ($36.5 million) in ransom.

Aparecida Schunc, 67, the mother of the 85-year-old’s glamorous wife Fabiana Flosi, 39, was snatched by a gang of ruthless criminals near her home in São Paulo on Friday, according to Brazilian news magazine Veja.

The criminals are reportedly in contact with the Ecclestone family and are demanding the biggest ransom in Brazilian history.

A source close to the police investigation told Brazilian magazine Veja the criminals have stipulated the ransom money be paid in pounds sterling and split into four plastic bags.

The high profile snatching comes less than two weeks before the start of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

There is heightened security in the country which records hundreds of kidnappings every year.

Ecclestone met Ms Shunck’s daughter Fabiana in 2009 in the run-up to the Brazilian Grande Prix in Interlagos, where she was working as marketing director for Brazil’s F1.

The couple wed three years later after Ecclestone divorced his wife of 25 years, Croatian model Slavica Radic, to marry the young Brazilian.

This article originally appeared on TheSun.co.uk