In a recent development, a fraudulent investment scheme named “Capital Chicken” has swindled Ugandans out of significant amounts of money in a non-existent poultry rearing venture.
The scheme targeted mainly corporate individuals interested in investing in the chicken business without direct involvement.
Capital Chicken claimed to be an agribusiness contract farming partnership, offering to rear poultry on behalf of those wanting to earn from poultry farming but facing challenges such as limited skills, lack of land, insufficient capital, unstable markets, and time constraints.
With its headquarters in Kamwokya and another branch in Kampala, the company showcased photos of a purported chicken farm in Mukono to gain investors’ trust.
Investors were encouraged to invest individually or as groups, with a promise of 15% monthly profits on their total investment. Contracts were signed to bind both parties.
Investors could choose to reinvest their capital after each five-month contract period. For example, a 10 million shillings investment would yield 1.5 million shillings in monthly profit, totaling 6 million shillings over five months.
To build trust, Capital Chicken claimed to be a registered company and assured that investors’ funds were insured.
The company later announced plans to establish chicken selling shops across the country, further enticing investors.
Many victims, including Ugandans working in the Middle East, trusted the company but found themselves losing their hard-earned money.
Media outlets, including TV and radio stations, partnered with Capital Chicken for advertising. Social media influencers were also hired to promote the scheme.
However, a red alert was issued last month by the Capital Markets Authority, warning the public that Capital Chicken was not regulated by them. The authority urged people to invest in regulated opportunities and seek advice from licensed professionals.
Capital Chicken responded by claiming legitimacy, but by then, problems had surfaced. Some investors reported not receiving their interest payments as contracts ended. When they visited the company’s offices, they encountered closed doors and unresponsive contacts.
It was later revealed that the CEO of the company had disappeared with investors’ funds, leading to panic among employees. Some employees were arrested, and others went into hiding.
In a statement, the company seemed to admit to deceiving both investors and employees.
This scam is reminiscent of past frauds in Uganda, such as the BLQ sports betting scam, World Global Mobile Network, Telex Free, Adfast Inc, and Amazon Traders, which left many Ugandans defrauded of significant sums of money.