Mohammad Dewji, a prominent Tanzanian businessman and former politician, was released by his abductors on Saturday, October 20, in a field near Gymkhana Club in Dar es Salaam. Police noted Dewji had bruises on his ankles and wrists consistent with restraints but appeared to be in "good health." Investigators have reportedly determined the kidnappers may have been "communicating in a vernacular" from South Africa, although it is unclear if they have identified the suspects. As many as 12 people, including hotel personnel, remain in police custody.
Mohammad Dewji is responsible for roughly 3 percent of Tanzania's GDP and is a central figure in Tanzanian and African business. He previously served two terms in Tanzania's parliament, retiring in 2015.
Dewji was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen Thursday, October 11, outside of a luxury hotel in the Oyster Bay neighborhood of Dar es Salaam. Dewji had exited his car and was entering the hotel's gym at the time of the kidnapping; he was not accompanied by any security guards. The kidnappers reportedly pulled Dewji into a car, fired gunshots into the air, and then quickly drove away. Security officials subsequently implemented enhanced security measures at airports and all border checkpoints.
Individuals in Tanzania, and particularly those in Dar es Salaam, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, report suspicious objects and behavior to the police, and allow extra time to travel due to heightened security measures. Adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities or your home government. Professional security advice and support may reduce exposure to personal security risks.
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