16 October 2018

Tanzania: Security Firm Speaks Out On Mo Abduction

Photo: The Citizen
Mohamed Dewji

Dar es Salaam — The company contracted to provide security at the hotel where billionaire businessman Mohammed Dewji was abducted last week has spoken out for the first time since the incident.

G1 Security Company human resources manager Seleman Magwila told The Citizen yesterday that the firm's employees who were on duty when Mr Dewji was kidnapped last Thursday had no firearms in line with the company's contractual agreement with Colosseum Hotel.

He said the hotel had chosen a security package that does not allow firearms at the establishment.

"We offer our clients various packages, including one that allows the deployment of armed security personnel. However, our existing contract with Colosseum Hotel does not allow us to carry firearms in and around the hotel," Mr Magwila added.

Commenting on CCTV cameras at the hotel, he said G1 Security Company was not authorised to operate them, adding that the devices were strictly under the hotel's management.

Mr Magwila also confirmed that police had questioned several senior G1 Security officials.

"This is nothing unusual as far as criminal investigation is concerned," he said.

Mr Magwila said the company provides security at residences, hotels and business premises, adding that it was the first time such an incident had happened under its watch.

"It was the first major security incident to have occurred in a place guarded by our company, which was established in 2014. We are disappointed just like everybody else."

Mr Magwila said the firm would be in a position state what actually happened as soon as its employees who were in police custody were set free.

Reports from the scene said the abductors took only 30 seconds to snatch Mr Dewji from the hotel's parking lot as he was about to step into the gym for his daily morning workout.

Police said yesterday that they were still holding 26 people for questioning in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile, Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander Lazaro Mambosasa told the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that Mr Dewji's abductors could be seeking ransom and do not intend to harm him.

"If they were wanted to kill him they could have done so. Instead, they fired in the air because they had no intention of harming him. It seems that these people are only after money," Mr Mambosasa said.

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