Gunmen seize ‘richest man’ in Tanzania
A tycoon said to be Tanzania’s wealthiest resident has been kidnapped from a spa hotel by masked gunmen.
Mohammed Dewji was abducted yesterday shortly after arriving at the gym at the Colosseum Hotel Oyster Bay in Dar es Salaam.
Police said that three foreigners had been detained in connection with the kidnapping of Dewji, known to fellow countrymen as ‘‘Mo’’.
However, conflicting reports have surfaced surrounding the disappearance of the 43-year-old – and a motive for his abduction remains unclear.
Paul Makonda, the regional governor and a close ally of President John Magufuli, told reporters that Dewji, pictured, was kidnapped ‘‘by whites travelling in two vehicles’’.
Witnesses outside the hotel, however, only spoke of one vehicle and none mentioned the ethnicity of the assailants.
‘‘We were approaching the area when, suddenly, in front of us, four people wearing masks alighted from a small vehicle and shot once in the air,’’ an Uber driver said.
‘‘They entered the hotel and came out with a person whom I identified as Mo,’’ he added.
Adding to the confusion, the city’s police chief, Lazaro Mambosasa, was widely reported as saying that Dewji had been rescued, only to retract the claim, saying he was misquoted.
However, he later said police had 12 suspects in custody, including the hotel’s security manager.
Financial magazine Forbes puts Deji’s wealth at US$1.5 billion (NZ$2.3b), and in a 2017 report, it said Dewji was Africa’s youngest billionaire. – Telegraph Group