A new report by The Guardian states that Mohammed Dewji, a man popularly referred to as Africa’s youngest billionaire, has been kidnapped.
The businessman and former politician was reportedly pursued by numerous armed individuals as he made his way into a Dar Es Salaam hotel. CNN reports that the incident took place at approximately 6:30 a.m as Dewji was positioned outside the luxury accommodation’s gym facilities. Officials believe that Dewji was accosted by young, white males. The regional governor Paul Makonda said, “Initial information indicates he was kidnapped by whites traveling in two vehicles. This kind of incident is new here.”
During a recent press conference, the city’s police chief Lazaro Mambosasa went on to reveal that the kidnappers “shot into the air” before forcing Dewji into a car. It is believed that the abductors had access to guarded hotel grounds because its gates were “believed to have been left open deliberately,” suggesting that they may have had help from hotel staff. Mambosasa also revealed that several suspects, including hotel staff, were interviewed and multiple arrests have already been made.
A motive for the crime has yet to be formally determined, however, initial police investigations have deemed the unfortunate incident to be ransom-related abduction given Dewji’s immense wealth and status. Earlier reports claiming that Dewji has been rescued have been denounced by local authorities for being fabrications.