According to official reports, African billionaire Mohammed Dewji was kidnapped in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Thursday.
Dar es Salaam Police Chief Lazaro Mambosasa implicated non-nationals as the culprits who committed the crime. The official disclosed during a press conference that the assailants had fired shots prior to taking Dewji.
"They came in a car to the hotel and started shooting in the air before they took him away. We are questioning the staff who were on duty at the time," the police chief detailed.
Dewji, 43, who served as a member of parliament from 2005 to 2015, was reportedly abducted at the gym of a luxury hotel in the city at about 6:30 a.m. local time.
In 2016, Dewji notably signed onto The Giving Pledge to donate at least half of his fortune to philanthropic causes, according to Forbes. The Giving Pledge is a campaign which encourages wealthy individuals to contribute the majority of their wealth to benevolent causes. As of 2018, the pledge has 184 signatories, including moguls and majority pledgers: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Michael Bloomberg.
Mambosasa announced that police were pursuing leads to apprehend suspects, adding that some arrests have been made.
Dewji is the continent’s youngest person to amass wealth in excess of a billion dollars. Forbes ranks the Tanzanian number 17 on the list of Africa's billionaires and places his worth at US$1.5 billion.
The businessman is the main shareholder of Tanzania's Simba FC football club and is also head of the MeTL Group, which operates agriculture, insurance, transport, logistics and food interests across almost a dozen countries. The group, founded by Dewji’s father in the 1970s, is a family business that operates some 30 factories.
In 2013, Dewji became the first Tanzanian to cover Forbes magazine before being named Forbes Africa Person of the Year in 2015.