Six Billionaires Have Been Kidnapped in Africa So Far this Year

Tanzania: Mohammed Dewji, 43, Africa’s youngest billionaire, was recently kidnapped and then returned 9 days later – it is unknown if ransom was paid for his return.  Dewji runs the METL group, which is a family business that trades in agriculture, manufacturing, energy and petroleum. He was ambushed and abducted in the early morning on his way to the gym without body guards. Regional media reported the abductors were “Two white men and others” who were likely foreigners. There is no further news on his health or a ransom demand. Africa is a hotbed for kidnappings for ransom of wealthy businessmen, with most of the crimes taking place in South Africa.

Africa’s youngest billionaire was kidnapped in a shocking early morning assault in the streets of Tanzania outside of an affluent hotel Thursday morning in what appeared to have been a carefully planned abduction.

Tanzanian police remain on high alert and are reportedly scouring the country for 43-year old mogul Mohammed Dewji  who runs the METL group, a family business that operates across six African countries in diverse industries as trading, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and petroleum, and financial services, among others.

Dewji was reported by the Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation as walking into the Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club in Oyster Bay in Dar es Salaam, the country’s capital, for his routine gym session during the early morning hours, when two white men and an unknown number of others in two cars sped up to the front of hotel, fired weapons into the air, and nabbed him and quickly drove away.

Africa’s youngest billionaire, Tanzanian tycoon Mohammed Dewji. He’s worth an estimated $1.5 billion.

The abduction happend around 6:30am local time, according to police, and was brazen yet apparently well planned given the public, high profile and somewhat busy nature of the location. Police and regional media described the abductors as likely foreign nationals.

CNN described the official police account as follows:

They drove into the hotel and opened fire before bundling Dewji into a car and speeding off, said Dar es Salaam regional police commissioner Lazaro Mambosaso.

“They came in a car to the hotel and started shooting in the air before they took him away. We are questioning the staff who were on duty at the time,” the commissioner said.

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Los Angeles: Skid Row Declared a ‘Typhus Zone’ But Politicians Are Slow to Implement Clean Up

Skid row spans 50 square blocks in downtown Los Angeles, which has become a breeding ground for rats, contributing to Los Angeles County’s typhus outbreak which began this summer.  The disease is spread by fleas, which are carried by rats, feral cats, opossums and pets.  Typhus infections can cause high fever, headache, chills, and in rare or untreated cases, meningitis and death. While it cannot be passed person to person, typhus usually reaches humans by flea bites or infected flea feces.  Investigative reporter, Joel Grover, reported that Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged $300,000 in funding to pick up trash and sanitize affected areas, including parts of Skid Row, but the plan has not been implemented – the city is not even power-washing or sanitizing this extended area where cases of typhus were found.  The city’s efforts are limited by a lawsuit that was filed by homeless people that prevents the removal of people from sidewalks between 9 pm and 6 am and removal of some personal belongings. 

A city plan to clean a section of downtown Los Angeles designated the “Typhus Zone” that was supposed to begin earlier this week has been delayed as more clusters of the disease are expected to appear throughout the region.

“They haven’t even started sanitizing and removing the trash and rats from this enlarged area,” NBC 4 investigative reporter Joel Grover revealed on Wednesday. “They don’t even have a schedule together yet.”

Grover shared the information on KFI-AM 640’s Bill Handel Show where he described City Hall’s response to the growing number of typhus infections as “so slow and so bureaucratic.”

“They don’t have their act together,” he claimed.

Two weeks ago, health officials warned of a typhus outbreak downtown and Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to devise a plan for containment. Typhus is transmitted by infected fleas which are often carried by rodents and feral cats. While it cannot be passed person to person, typhus usually reaches humans by flea bites or infected flea feces.

In an investigation broadcast last Wednesday, Grover reported that the city had ignored “mountains of trash crawling with rats” that could have caused the disease to spread.

“The problem is there’s so much garbage and stuff piling up around downtown that we have a huge rat population,” Grover said to Handel. “Those fleas get on people’s dogs. I see all of these people walking their dogs through downtown and think, ‘that person is potentially at risk.’”

According to the Los Angeles Times, cleaning efforts targeting the typhus zone were supposed to have started on Monday. Garcetti had pledged $300,000 to pick up trash and sanitize that area, which includes parts of the Skid Row neighborhood, known for its high concentration of homeless people.

Grover told Handel that he met with city sanitation officials last week who outlined a plan to remove rats, stray animals, and rotting garbage from the designated zone.

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Texas Democratic Party Under Investigation After Sending Voting Applications to Non-Citizens

The Texas Democratic Party asked non-citizens to register to vote, sending out applications to immigrants with the citizenship box already checked “Yes”. Texas Governor Greg Abbott says the issue is under investigation. The Texas Secretary of State’s office says it had received complaints from immigrants and relatives of dead people who say they received mailed letters asking them to register. -GEG

The Texas Democratic Party reportedly asked non-citizens to register to vote and sent applications to immigrants that pre-checked the citizenship box as “yes,” according to complaints filed on Thursday.

“The Public Interest Legal Foundation [PILF] alerted district attorneys and the federal Justice Department to the pre-checked applications, and also included a signed affidavit from a man who said some of his relatives, who aren’t citizens, received the mailing,” The Washington Times reported. “The Texas secretary of state’s office said it, too, had gotten complaints both from immigrants and from relatives of dead people who said they got mailings asking them to register.”

“This is how the Texas Democratic Party is inviting foreign influence in an election in a federal election cycle,” said PILF spokesman Logan Churchwell.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to the report by saying that there will be “serious consequences” if the allegations are true.

“A complaint says the Texas Democratic Party asked noncitizens to register to vote, sending applications with citizenship box pre-checked,” Abbott said in a tweet. “This is being investigated. If true there will be serious consequences.”

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