Gunmen kidnap Africa’s ‘youngest billionaire’ in Tanzania

Published: October 11, 2018 15:44:05 | Updated: October 14, 2018 15:51:37


Photo: Collected

The man said to be Africa's youngest billionaire has been kidnapped by masked gunmen in Tanzania's main city Dar es Salaam, police say.

Mohammed Dewji, 43, was abducted outside a swanky hotel gym where he was going for his routine morning workout.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the incident and two of the abductors were believed to be foreign nationals, police added.

The motive for Dewji's abduction is still unclear, says a BBC report.

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 Dewji was Africa's youngest billionaire.

He promised in 2016 to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes, Forbes said.

Dewji, locally known as Mo, is credited with turning his family business from a wholesale and retail enterprise into a pan-African conglomerate.

His company, METL, has interests in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in at least six African states.

Environment Minister January Makamba, a friend of Dewji, tweeted that he had spoken to Dewji's father and the family confirmed that he had been kidnapped.

What more do we know about his abduction?

The kidnappers fired shots in the air before driving away with the billionaire, eyewitnesses said.

Dewji, a fitness enthusiast, had no security guards with him and had driven to the gym in an affluent suburb on his own, Dar es Salaam regional police commissioner Paul Makonda told reporters.

Two of the kidnappers were white men, he added.

Share if you like