DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — Africa’s youngest billionaire, who was abducted over a week ago outside a luxury hotel in Tanzania, has returned home safely, the family conglomerate that he runs said on Twitter on Saturday.
The billionaire, Mohammed Dewji, 43, who is chief executive of METL Group, was seized as he arrived for a morning workout in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, last week.
“I have returned home safely,’” the METL Group Twitter account posted. The company also quoted him as thanking those who had worked for his release, including the police.
The post did not provide details about how he was freed or whether a ransom had been paid. Forbes estimates his net worth as $1.5 billion, making him Africa’s 17th-richest man and its youngest billionaire.
Mr. Dewji’s family had offered a reward of 1 billion Tanzania shillings ($440,000) for information leading to his release.
The country’s minister of environment said that the kidnappers had freed Mr. Dewji by dumping him in a field in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Dar es Salaam’s regional police chief, Lazaro Mambosasa, confirmed the release and said the authorities were investigating, The Associated Press said.
“We got information that the abductors used the same car that was used to seize him at the Colosseum Hotel and dumped him,” Chief Mambosasa said, according to The A.P. “We found him there physically fit, and we suspect that the abductors are South Africans because he said they were communicating in one of the vernacular from that country.”
The kidnapping of Mr. Dewji, who has served as a member of Parliament in the past, caused consternation in the East African nation, since he is one of its most prominent business executives.
Mr. Dewji had been kidnapped by two masked gunmen as he arrived at the hotel for a workout, the police said Thursday. The men fired into the air before driving away, Chief Mambosasa said.
He told the local news outlet Mwananchi that the police had 12 suspects in custody, including the hotel’s security manager, The A.P. said.
The environment minister and Mr. Dewji’s former colleague in Parliament, January Makamba, tweeted on Saturday morning that he had spoken with him and that he was safe.
Mr. Makamba said that Mr. Dewji had bruises on his hands and feet from being tied up by his kidnappers.
The authorities had tightened security at all border points and airports to ensure that the two men who were seen on surveillance video were not sneaking out of the East African nation, the Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, Paul Makonda, said.
METL Group is involved in a diverse range of manufacturing, farming, transport, infrastructure, agroprocessing and telecoms businesses spanning 11 African countries.