African billionaire Mohammed Dewji, who has been missing from Tanzania since an October 11 abduction, is now home and safe after his release over the weekend.
“I thank Allah that I have returned home safely. I thank all my fellow Tanzanians, and everyone around the world for their prayers,” said a message from MeTL group, the company Dewji founded, and attributed to him. “I thank the authorities of Tanzania, including the police force for working for my safe return.”
The message said it was posted at 3:15 a.m. local time Saturday, but there was no information about precisely when Dewji was released until police spoke to local media later in the day. They said he was left at a golf course by English-speaking suspects, who also left behind their weapons and tried to burn the vehicle before fleeing.
Police in Tanzania said earlier that they identified a car and driver in the case but did not announce any arrests.
Dewji had been the subject of a massive search since he was taken at gunpoint from a fitness club in Dar es Salaam nine days before. His company promised a reward of 1 billion Tanzanian shillings (about USD$436,000) for information leading to his safe return, but there was no confirmation of that or any ransom paid for Dewji’s release.
Dewji, 43, is also head of the Mo Dewji Foundation, a philanthropy dedicated to education, health, and community development programs designed to lift Tanzanians out of poverty.
MeTL is the largest company launched in Tanzania and employs more than 24,000 people there. It has a presence in 11 African nations, all in the eastern part of the continent.
Image: Mo Dewji Foundation, Tanzanian police