By Ken Karuri / Bloomberg
October 19, 2018

It’s unclear whether Africa’s youngest billionaire abducted more than a week ago is still alive, according to Tanzanian police.

Eight people have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Mohammed Dewji, Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro said in comments aired on Kwanza TV. The 43-year-old with an estimated net worth of about $1.5 billion was seized by unidentified people in the Tanzanian commercial hub of Dar es Salaam on Oct. 11.

“We can’t say if Mo is alive or not, because we are not the ones who kidnapped him,” Sirro said. “We also don’t know the reason the businessman was abducted. It’s only when we locate him and the kidnappers that we’ll know the reason.”

Most of the information volunteered by people seeking the 1 billion-shilling ($437,000) reward his family has offered has turned out to be false, he said. CCTV footage show Dewji was bundled into a foreign-registered vehicle from a neighboring country that Sirro declined to name. Interpol is assisting in tracking its ownership, he said.

Dewji owns MeTL Group, a conglomerate operating in several African countries and contributing about 3.5 percent to Tanzania’s gross domestic product, according to its website.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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