Africa’s youngest billionaire free 9 days after abduction


Africa’s youngest billionaire, a Tanzanian national said Saturday he is free more than a week after his abduction from a luxury hotel in Tanzania’s commercial capital. Police suggested his captors may have come from South Africa.

“I thank Allah that I have returned home safely,” said a statement released by the 43-year-old Mohammed Dewji’s foundation. It did not give details about the Oct. 11 abduction or what led to his release but thanked police for working for his safe return.

“We got information that the abductors used the same car that was used to seize him at the Colosseum Hotel and dumped him at gymkhana (sports facility) grounds,” Dar es Salaam Regional Police Chief Lazaro Mambosasa said on Saturday.

“We found him there physically fit, and we suspect that the abductors are South Africans because he said they were communicating in one of the local languages from that country.”

Inspector general of police, Simon Sirro, later told reporters that the captors had demanded a ransom but he didn’t divulge the amount or say whether it was paid.

Police seized the vehicle along with an AK-47 assault rifle, two pistols and several rounds of ammunition, Sirro said.

The kidnappers tried to burn the vehicle after dumping the billionaire, he added.

Tanzania’s Environment Minister January Makamba, in a statement posted on Twitter, said he had spoken with Dewji and “he’s the usual Mo. So he is okay.”



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