Tanzania police 'might be able to crack this one' says Kiwi after terrifying abduction

Police in Tanzania are confident they'll catch four armed men who abducted a Gisborne couple and subjected them to a terrifying two-hour ordeal, withdrawing money from their accounts at ATMs.

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Chris Williams and Tiffany Zyp were pinned down in the back seat of a car for two hours. Source: Seven Sharp

Backpackers Chris Williams and Tiffany Zyp were pinned down in the back seat of a car as their assailants drove around the city of Dar es Salaam, forcing them to reveal their pin numbers, withdrawing money at ATMs and threatening to kill them if they resisted.

"They wouldn't even let us lean forward. They said, 'If you do that I'm going to murder your partner.' So in the end there were 16 individual transactions that they managed to do in that time," Mr Williams told Seven Sharp from Tanzania.

Eventually the abductors gave the couple their cards and passports back.

"They were just saying, 'You act normal, you act normal, this is over. You're going on your train that you previously booked'," Mr Williams said.

"So they thought that they could just get us on the train and we'd leave the country. But we of course didn't. We went to the police station, filed the report. And the next day I actually went round with some investigators, and yeah they're pretty confident they might be able to crack this one," he said.

A graphic artist, Mr Williams was able to draw pictures of the assailants for the police to give them quite a clear picture of them - so much so that the police said they recognised a couple of the men. 

The ordeal started when the couple were at a museum.

"And a friendly guy came up to us and said, 'Hey bro, can you use my taxi?' Mr Williams recounted.

"We got into the taxi and there was a guy with him in the front. And that was a little bit confusing but we kind of just went with it. And he said he needed to pull over. And the doors ripped open, two men jumped in, got me in a headlock. There was all this screaming. My partner Tiffany was screaming as she was being grabbed by this guy," he said. 

"And then they just sped around the back streets of Tanzania, screaming at each other, screaming at us, yelling that they were going to murder us if we didn't do what they wanted. And yeah, it was by far the most terrifying thing that's ever happened to me. And it lasted for about two hours. It just never seemed to end."

Mr Williams said: "Part of me just didn't want to believe it was happening. I already sensed something was off, but once those guys jumped in there was this guttural pang I cannot describe that has never happened to me before. But there was a few seconds where like, wow this might be it."

But despite what they've been through, the couple are not about to come home. The 31-year-olds are going to continue with their travels.