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A man believed to be the youngest African billionaire was kidnapped in the largest city in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, police said.
Mohammed Diouji, 43, was abducted from outside the gym in a luxury hotel where he practiced his daily exercises.
Police said they had arrested two people linked to the incident and that two of the kidnappers were believed to be foreigners.
The motive for Diugi’s abduction is still unclear.
Who is Mohammed Diouji?
Forbes magazine, which specializes in business and finance, estimates its fortune at $ 1.5 billion, describing it as the only billionaire in Tanzania.
In a report published in 2017, the magazine said Diugi was the smallest billionaire in Africa. He is also a principal sponsor of Tanzania’s football clubs, the Simba Club.
Diouji pledged in 2016 to donate at least half of his wealth to charity projects and institutions, the magazine said.
Diuji, known locally as Mo, is credited with turning his family’s businesses from wholesale and retail to a conglomerate all over Africa, according to BBC Osman Osman in Dar es Salaam.
His business activities include the textile industry, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in six African countries.
Diugi served as a deputy in the Tanzanian parliament from the ruling party for 10 years, until 2015.
In an interview in 2014, Diugi told the BBC that his membership in parliament made it easier for him to meet top politicians, but that did not give him an unfair advantage, because any other businessman could also meet them.
Tanzanian Environment Minister Yannori Makamba, a friend of Mr Diugi, said he had spoken to Diugi’s father and his family had confirmed his kidnapping.
What do we know about his abduction?
The kidnapping took place in the upscale suburb of Osterby.
Witnesses said the kidnappers fired shots in the air before driving a car with the billionaire.
Police chief Paul Mukunda told reporters that Diugi, who was interested in his physical fitness, was not guarded at the time of the accident and drove his car to the gym.
McCunda said two of the kidnappers were white.
Police said security forces were on high alert across Tanzania in search of the kidnappers.