Tanzanian entrepreneur Mohammed Dewji was abducted on Thursday morning on his way to a gym session at a luxury hotel in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam.
According to reports emerging, masked gunmen in two cars ambushed the prominent businessman as he walked into the exclusive Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club, where he is a member.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the incident and two of the abductors are believed to be foreign nationals, says a BBC report.
A Reuters report quotes Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda as saying the businessman was kidnapped by two men as he entered the hotel.
“They fired a gun and then they opened the gate,” Makonda said, adding that security personnel had started a search for Dewji.
Featured as a FORBES AFRICA cover in July 2013 and as FORBES AFRICA’s Person of The Year in 2016, the 43-year-old single-handedly turned his father’s trading business into Tanzania’s largest import-export group.
“Slowly, slowly, I am planning to take on the whole continent. I am very bullish,” he told FORBES AFRICA.
Dewji is the CEO of MeTL active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa. He is also the main sponsor of football club Simba.
In September, he met with FORBES AFRICA editor Methil Renuka to talk about plans to expand his business into the rest of the continent.
“It was a brief meeting and he had breathlessly related his business plans for the next two years; the new industries in his pipeline, and his desire to develop Tanzania with every new technology and product on the market. He emphasized the value he places on Africa’s human capital, the role of the youth to steer the continent’s bright future, as he has done,” says Renuka.
News about the kidnapping has sent shockwaves on social media and across Africa.
According to FORBES’ Africa Billionaires list released earlier this year, Dewji is worth $1.5 billion.
Update: Family issues reward after Africa’s youngest billionaire goes missing
The family of billionaire Mohammed Dewji has issued a reward for anyone with information on his whereabouts.
Dewji’s family has offered 1 billion Tanzanian Shillings ($436,674) to anyone who can help them find the president of the MeTL Group.
The Tanzanian entrepreneur was abducted last month on his way to a gym session at a luxury hotel in Oyster Bay in Dar es Salaam.
Azim Dewji, a family spokesperson, said in a statement: “We would also like to show our sincere gratitude to everyone for their tremendous outpouring of love and support that we have received in the wake of such adversity. We urge you to continue keeping MO in your prayers as our nation continues the search for him.”
Dewji was featured on the cover of FORBES AFRICA in July 2013 and was named FORBES AFRICA’s Person of The Year in 2016. The 43-year-old single-handedly turned his father’s trading business into Tanzania’s largest import-export group.
Dewji’s personal networth is $1.5 billion, according to the Africa billionaires list released by FORBES earlier this year. He is also Africa’s youngest billionaire.
Read the Family’s Public notice here:Public-Notice-Dewji-Spokesperson-15-October-2018