Indian-origin Tanzanian, Africa’s youngest billionaire Mohammed Dewji was kidnapped from a luxury hotel in Dar es Salaam.
According to Kenyan publication Daily Nation, the 43-year-old mogul was walking into the Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam for his routine gym session during the early hours of Thursday morning when two white men and an unknown number of accomplices in two cars waylaid him and quickly drove away.
CNN quoted Dar es Salaam regional police commissioner Lazaro Mambosaso as saying, “They came in a car to the hotel and started shooting in the air before they took him away. We are questioning the staff who was on duty at the time.”
The kidnappers are believed to be foreign nationals and it is speculated that they had accessed the gym through gates that are believed to have been left open deliberately.
The motive behind the abduction is still unknown.
Dewji, 43, who is said to have a fortune of $1.5 billion, is the president of MeTL Group, which operates in about 10 countries across sectors ranging from agriculture to transport and food.
Dewji was born in Tanzania and studied at Georgetown University in Washington DC. He served as an MP from 2005 to 2015.
In 2013, he became the first Tanzanian to be on the cover of Forbes magazine, and was named Forbes Africa person of the year in 2015.
He is ranked 17th by Forbes on its list of Africa’s billionaires.
Dewji is married with three children. In 2016, he signed a pledge to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.
-- With inputs from Agencies