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Tanzanian billionaire freed as police pursue kidnappers

By KEN KARURI | Bloomberg News | Published: October 20, 2018

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (Tribune News Service) — A Tanzanian billionaire industrialist who was abducted Oct. 11 was released unharmed, as police said they’re looking for the kidnappers.

Mohammed Dewji, 43, listed by Forbes as Africa’s youngest billionaire with a net worth of $1.5 billion, was dropped off in an area of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s main city, by his kidnappers, police Inspector General Simon Sirro said Saturday.

The Mo Dewji Foundation, a charity established by the billionaire, announced his release early Saturday. In a Twitter post, it quoted Dewji thanking “the authorities of Tanzania, including the police force for working for my safe return.”

Dewji was seized 11 in Dar es Salaam.

Dewji owns MeTL Group, a conglomerate operating in several African countries and contributing about 3.5 percent to Tanzania’s gross domestic product, according to its website. There was no publicly announced demand for ransom; Dewji’s family offered almost $500,000 as a reward for information that led to his rescue.

Sirro said Saturday that an AK-47 rifle and three pistols were found in a car that was used by three kidnappers, two of whom spoke English and the other Swahili.

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