Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Tanzanian police say they have identified the driver of a vehicle used in the kidnapping of Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji, who was released last week after being snatched on October 11.

Dewji, 43, who is considered Africa’s youngest billionaire, was seized by gunmen as he entered a hotel gym in Dar es Salaam. He arrived home safely 10 days later.

Police chief Simon Sirro said surveillance videos at the hotel had captured images of the vehicle used by the kidnappers, a dark blue 4x4.

"We have been able to identify the vehicle. So we have advanced a lot in our investigation, we will publish these photos," he said.

"On top of that, we know this car entered the country on September 1 from a neighbouring country," Sirro added, refusing to name the country. "We already have the names of the vehicle’s owner and the driver."

Sirro said he would send Tanzanian police to the neighbouring country in question, without giving any details. He said of 27 people arrested eight were still in custody.

The opposition has called for independent international investigators to take over the probe, citing an increase in kidnappings and attacks in which no-one is brought to book.

Dewji is CEO of the MeTL Group, which operates in 12 countries and has interests in agriculture, insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry. According to Forbes, he is worth $1.5bn and ranks 17th on the list of African billionaires.

He was a member of parliament from 2005 to 2015, and in 2013 became the first Tanzanian to feature on the cover of Forbes magazine. Two years later, he was named Forbes’ Africa Person of the year. Dewji is also the main shareholder in Tanzania’s Simba football club.