• Tanzania, October 20, 2018

    Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji, who was kidnapped on October 19 and held for ransom, was abandoned unharmed by his kidnappers in Dar es Salaam’s Gymkhana area at 2:30 am local time. Talking to reporters at a press conference, Inspector General of Police and Dar es Salaam’s police commander stated that Dewji had been held in a house in an area where police were about to conduct a house-to-house search. He was held with his legs and hands tied and face were covered therefore he could not see his kidnappers. His kidnappers spoke in English and “broken Swahili, ” which led him to believe they were South Africans. The officials added that Dewji said that was treated well and was fed during his captivity. The vechicle used in the kidnapping was found partially damaged in a botched attempt to destroy evidence. Inside, officers found four weapons, including an assault rifle and numerous bullets.  Following his release Dewji tweeted a message in which he said he had “returned home safely”, without providing more details about how he was freed. (reuters.com. 19 October 2018 & iol.co.za, 20 October 2018)

  • Tanzania, October 19, 2018

    Talking at a press conference, police Inspector General, Simon Sirro, told reporters that the car used in the kidnapping of Mohammed Dewji had arrived from a neighboring country on September 1 and Interpol is now involved in the case. Police had identified the car’s owner and driver, but declined to identify which country it came from, in order to avoid diplomatic conflict. The movements of the car had been traced on security camera footage before it escaped from view while still within Dar es Salaam. (nypost.com, 19 October 2018)

  • Tanzania, October 15, 2018

    The family of of Mohammed Dewji, a billionaire industrialist, who was kidnapped on October 11, has offered 1 billion shillings (about US $437,000) to anyone with new information that will lead to his rescue. Three phone hotlines to gather information about the kidnapping were opened at the businessman’s MeTL company offices in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. Meanwhile according to local reports, police have arrested 26 people in connection with the kidnapping. (bloomberg.com, 15 October 2018)

  • Tanzania, October 11, 2018

    Police are searching for Mohammed Dewji, 43, a businessman and a former member of parliament for the ruling CCM party, was kidnapped at around 6:30 a.m. by unidentified men in Dar es Salaam. The victim, Africa’s youngest billionaire was kidnapped from a gym at the luxury Colosseum Hotel hotel located in the city’s Oyster Bay neighborhood. There are conflicting eyewitnesses reports as to the number and the appearance of the kidnappers. Some witnesses’ stated that the kidnappers wore masks, while other describe them as white and foreigners. According to former employees, the victim who enjoyed a celebrity status and often attracted crowds where he went, routinely visited the hotel gym and never seen accompanied by a security detail. The kidnappers reportedly fired into the air as they fled the scene. Police said that gates to the gym had been left open for the gang. Following the kidnapping, security forces and police around the country, including at airports and all exit points, have been put on high alert in the hunt for the kidnappers. Dewji is the owner and president of the multi-billion dollar revenue Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd (METL Group), which has more than 30 factories making consumer products ranging from bicycles and detergents to edible oil and beverages. Other investments cover the agriculture, infrastructure, energy and mobile phone sectors. The company operates in 11 African nations, mostly in East Africa and had revenues of over US$2 billion and employed 24,000 people. (africanews.com, 11 October 2018 & bbc.com, 11 October 2018 & thetimes.co.uk, 12 October 2018)