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Africa's youngest billionaire is released after kidnapping in Tanzania



DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Africa's youngest billionaire kidnapped a week ago from a luxury hotel in Tanzania, has returned home safely, the family conglomerate he runs, said on Twitter on Saturday.

The billionaire Mohammed Dewji, 43, managing director of the METL Group, was confiscated last week when he came to a morning workout in the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam

"I've returned home safely," the Twitter account Sent to the METL Group. The company also cited him as thanks to those who had worked for his release, including the police.

There was no information on how he was released or whether a ransom was paid. Forbes estimates his net worth at $ 1.5 billion, making him Africa's 17th richest man and youngest billionaire.

Mr. Dewji's family had offered a reward of 1 billion Tanzanian shillings ($ 440,000) for information about his release.

The country's environment minister said the kidnappers had released Mr. Dewji by throwing him on a field early in the morning

The abduction of Mr. Dewji, who has served as a Member of Parliament in the past, has caused consternation in the East African nation, as he is one of his most prominent businessmen.

Environment Minister and Mr. Dewji's former colleague in parliament, Jan Makamba also tweeted on Saturday morning that he had spoken to him and that he was safe.

Mr. Makamba said that Mr. Dewji had bruises on his hands and feet because he was tied up by his captors. Dewji was kidnapped by two masked gunmen when he arrived at the hotel for training, the police said Thursday. The men fired into the air before they drove away, regional police commander Lazaro Mambosasa said, according to The Associated Press.

Commander Mambosasa was quoted by the local news agency Mwananchi as saying police had 12 suspects in custody, the hotel's security officer said the AP.

The authorities had tightened security at all border points and airports to ensure that the two men seen on surveillance videos were not sneaking out of the East African nation, Dar es Salaam. Regional commissioner Paul Makonda said:

The METL Group operates in 11 African countries in a variety of manufacturing, agricultural, transportation, infrastructure, agroprocessing and telecommunications companies.


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