Youngest billionaire in Africa, Mohammed Dewji has been kidnapped by masked gunmen on Thursday morning in Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam.
According to BBC, Mohammed Dewji, 43, was abducted outside a swanky hotel gym where he was going for his routine morning workout.
Dewji who heads the MeTL Group which operates in about 10 countries with interests in agriculture to insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry, was snatched as he entered the gym of a hotel in the city.
“Initial information indicates he was kidnapped by whites travelling in two vehicles,” regional governor Paul Makonda told journalists, adding that “this kind of incident is new here”.
Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa also implicated foreigners in the crime during a press conference, adding they had “shot into the air” before bustling Dewji into their car.
He said police were hunting for suspects and had already made arrests.
Who is Mohammed Dewji?
Financial magazine Forbes puts his wealth at $1.5bn (£980m) and has described him as Tanzania’s only billionaire.
In a 2017 report, it said Mr Dewji was Africa’s youngest billionaire.
Mr Dewji is also a major sponsor of one of Tanzania’s biggest football teams, Simba.
He promised in 2016 to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes, Forbes said.
Mr Dewji, locally known as Mo, is credited with turning his family business from a wholesale and retail enterprise into a pan-African conglomerate, reports the BBC’s Athuman Mtulya from Dar es Salaam.
His company, METL, has interests in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in at least six African states.
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Mr Dewji served as a ruling party MP for a decade until 2015. He told the BBC in a 2014 interview that this possibly made it easier for him to meet top politicians, but it did not give him an unfair advantage, as other businessmen also had access to them.