Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Africa's 'youngest' billionaire kidnapped in Tanzania

Africa's 'youngest' billionaire kidnapped in Tanzania

Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji has been kidnapped in early Thursday morning incident which spread like a bush-fire on social media platforms.

The armed men were foreigners, the Swahili Times reported on Twitter, citing Police Commander Lazaro Mambosasa.

Dewji's conglomerate, the METL Group, operates in over 35 industries such as trading, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, petroleum, financial services, mobile telephony, infrastructure and real estate, transport, logistics and distribution.

They drove into the hotel and opened fire before bundling Dewji into a vehicle and speeding off, said Dar es Salaam regional police commissioner Lazaro Mambosaso.

Mr Dewji was born in Tanzania and studied at Georgetown University in the United States.

With a reputation as one of East Africa's leading forces in regional trade and business development, Dewji served in parliament from 2005 until 2015.

The police chief said three people have been arrested and are being questioned. "They shot in the air once and the hotel's security guards scampered for safety", the driver said.

Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda was among government officials who arrived at the scene.

Dewji is also the main shareholder in Simba football club, based in Dar es Salaam.

Dewji runs MeTL, a multi-establishment company operating in six African countries which was founded by his father in the 1970s.

"They then got into the hotel and came out with someone whom I identified as Mohammed."According to Forbes, Dewji has an estimated net worth of US$1.54 billion (Sh154 billion), and is the 17th richest person in Africa". In 2016 he pledged to give half of his fortune to philanthropic causes.

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