A Tanzanian billionaire, Mohammed Dewji, who was kidnapped in 2018 outside a hotel in Dar es Salaam, has narrated his ordeal in the hands of his kidnapper, ABC News can report.
This is the first time the billionaire, with an estimated worth of $1.5 billion, has spoken about how he was treated by the captor.
Mohammed Dewji disclosed in an interview with the BBC that he was blindfolded for 6 days, making him feel like he has almost lost his eyesight.
Occasionally, he was harshly spoken to and threatened with guns, a situation that got him infuriated and hopeless at the same time resulting in him daring the kidnapper to shoot him if he so desires.
“I was blindfolded and there were times they kept on threatening me with guns to my head and five days, six days into it I was thinking I was losing my eyesight” the billionaire mentioned.
He stated that “[The kidnapper] was like ‘I’m going to shoot you’ and I was like ‘you can shoot me and kill me’, because I was losing it. You get disoriented, you’re tired because it’s a form of torture” adding that “I kept hearing these chopper noises and thinking that maybe this chopper’s looking for me.”
Mohammed Dewji was released after 10 days with no ransom paid.
He recollected that the kidnapper dropped him off in a secluded place, not too distant from the Coliseum Hotel, where he was forcefully captured.
“I still don’t know why it happened,” he told the BBC in the interview insisting that “Obviously the intention looked like it was money that they wanted. In the end they left me without the money.”
So far, one person, a taxi driver, has been picked up for questioning but the billionaire noted that the captor freed him following the heightened pressure built up from media and political attention.
A Tanzanian taxi driver, Mousa Twaleb, has been arrested and is awaiting trial. But he is the only suspect that is being held.