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Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji rescued

Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji rescued

Reports from the scene suggest two white men and an unknown number of accomplices in two cars waylaid the prominent businessman as he walked into the exclusive Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club, where he is a member.

His conglomerate, the METL Group, operates in over 35 industries as diverse as trading, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and petroleum, financial services, mobile telephony, infrastructure and real estate, transport, logistics and distribution.

Mohammed Dewji, 43, was taken by the men who waylaid him as he left the hotel gym after his early morning workout at around 6.30 am local time, police said.

With a reputation as one of East Africa's leading forces in regional trade and business development, Dewji served in parliament from 2005 until 2015.

According to Mambosasa, three people have been arrested for questioning in connection to the incident.

Adding to the confusion, the city's police chief, Lazaro Mambosasa, was widely reported as saying that Mr Dewji had been rescued, only to retract the claim later, saying he was misquoted.

"They came in a vehicle to the hotel and started shooting in the air before they took him away".

Dewji was kidnapped as he entered the gym of a luxury hotel in Dar es Salaam.

According to Forbes, Dewji has amassed a fortune of $1.5 billion, making him the youngest billionaire on the African continent.

Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda was among government officials who arrived at the scene.

Dewji is also the first Tanzanian to join the Giving Pledge, a commitment by billionaires to help address society's most pressing problems by promising to give more than half their wealth to charity.