Dodoma: A man said to be Africa’s youngest billionaire has been kidnapped by masked gunmen in Tanzania’s main city Dar es Salaam, police said on Thursday. Mohammed Dewji, 43, was abducted outside a hotel gym where he was going for his routine morning workout, the BBC reported.
The kidnappers fired shots in the air before driving away with the billionaire who had no security guards with him. Three people have been arrested in connection with the incident and two of the abductors were believed to be foreign nationals, the police added.
Financial magazine Forbes puts his wealth at $1.5 billion, 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, reports the BBC. His company, METL, deals in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in at least six African states. Environment Minister January Makamba said that he had spoken to Dewji’s father and the family confirmed that he had been kidnapped.