Investigation Discovery’s ‘Anni: The Honeymoon Murder’ follows how Anni Dewani was murdered amidst a hijacking in Cape Town, South Africa, in mid-November 2010. While her newlywed husband, Shrien Dewani, was viewed as a victim at first, testimonies and media reporting quickly turned him into a co-conspirator. However, the episode tries to offer both sides of the story to the viewers, leaving them to draw their conclusions. If you wish to learn more about Shrien, including his current whereabouts, here’s what we know.
Who Is Shrien Dewani?
Anni Ninna (née Hindocha) Dewani, the Swedish-born daughter of an affluent Indian businessman, began looking for her perfect groom in her mid-twenties. She frequently traveled to London, staying with wealthy relatives, including her maternal uncles, who owned the British pharmacy chain Waremoss. Her weekends were filled with shopping and socializing. She was determined to marry an Indian, and the cosmopolitan London society offered better prospects than Stockholm.
One of Anni’s aunts spotted Shrien Dewani at London parties, appreciating his clean-cut appearance, wealth, and pedigree. With the help of a mutual acquaintance, the aunt arranged a casual encounter between Shrien and Anni at a coffee bar. Their chemistry was evident, leading to their first date in September 2009—a visit to a celebrated performance of ‘The Lion King’ in London’s West End. Following a second date at the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, Anni excitedly called her sister to share her news of meeting “a guy” whom she was “going to meet again.”
Anni and Shrien’s lives closely mirrored each other. His family, like Anni’s, had Gujarati roots, with both sets of grandparents fleeing Uganda during President Idi Amin’s regime to settle in England. Shrien’s father had come from Kenya, where his family had emigrated from Gujarat to study pharmacology. He later established a pharmacy in Bristol and a nursing home that evolved into a chain of elderly care facilities. Shrien attended an elite preparatory school in Bristol and studied accounting at the University of Manchester.
He taught English and mathematics in Ghana before eventually joining the family business — PSP Healthcare — which developed rapidly under his management. Before turning 30, Shrien became a millionaire. Much like Anni, he was also outgoing and popular. Some described him as a bit showy, with his wealth perhaps too prominently on display. However, close friends recognized his kindness, generosity, and a good sense of humor beneath the flashy exterior. Anni was particularly drawn to his ability to make her laugh and feel protected.
Several months into their relationship, Anni was deeply enamored. She left her job in Stockholm and moved into an apartment in Luton, north of London, in February 2010. Anni’s parents met with the Dewanis in 2010 spring before sealing their approval. Shortly afterward, Shrien brought Anni to an airfield near Bristol, where a private plane was ready to whisk them away to Paris. He proposed with a $40,000 diamond engagement ring delicately placed atop a red rose on a silver platter at the restaurant in the Hotel Ritz.
However, the newlywed’s November 2010 honeymoon after a lavish October 19 marriage went awry when Anni was hijacked during a November 13 taxi tour in Cape Town, South Africa. Her body was discovered the next day in a Volkswagen Sharan minivan’s backseat in Elitha Park, Khayelitsha. She had been fatally shot once with a nine-millimeter pistol from close range. The police quickly apprehended four suspects — Xolile Mngeni, Zola Robert Tongo, Mziwamadoda Lennox Qwabe, and Monde Mbolombo.
Where Is Shrien Dewani Now?
While the four men initially offered varying accounts of the vents, they later set their stories straight to declare Shrien had paid them to kill his newlywed bride. The police quickly amassed a vast array of circumstantial evidence against him, including his differing accounts of what happened, alleged texts between him and Zola, and surveillance footage from the hotel lobby showing him handing Zola a white plastic package (which the police alleged was partial payment to carry out the murder.)
After the allegations surfaced during Zola’s December 7, 2010, hearing, Shrien surrendered at the Southmead police station in Bristol at 10:38 pm the same day. He was released on £250,000 bond after serving two days in prison. Following a court order, he surrendered his passport, had an electronic bracelet attached to his ankle, and retreated to his family home in the Bristol suburb of Westbury-on-Trym. Weeks later, a male escort from Munich and a political aide in Parliament came forward, alleging several paid and unpaid sexual encounters with Shrien.
The allegations against Shrien quickly gained traction among Anni’s family, with many citing several odd instances, including him holding a pizza party the night before the funeral and quarreling with his late wife’s sisters. One of the sisters also recalled how Anni had tried to call off the wedding, citing Shrien’s controlling behavior. They speculated that Shrien had decided to allegedly kill Anni, fearing that a failed marriage, after a previous broken engagement, might severely damage his standing in the conservative British-Indian community.
Shrien attempted suicide on February 20, 2011, by consuming an overdose of sleeping medication and was admitted to a hospital in critical condition. He was diagnosed with severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. After a lengthy legal battle, he was extradited to South Africa on April 7, 2014, arrested, and charged with five offenses, including conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery, murder, kidnapping, and obstructing justice. During his October 2014 trial, key witnesses contradicted their earlier statements, and fabricated evidence was discovered.
He was acquitted of all charges in December 2014. However, several reports suggested the Hindocha family planned to sue their son-in-law for not disclosing his bisexuality before marrying their daughter. Anni Hindocha’s uncle, acting as spokesperson for the family, stated, “We accept he did not murder Anni, but he lied to us and had a very secret gay life. He owes us an apology for his lies.” Shrien, now in his 40s, is living in London with his partner, Gledison Lopez Martins, a Brazilian photographer, in a £3.5 million flat.