Ugandans have fallen prey to a Ponzi scheme known as “Capital Chicken,” which exploited social media influencers to lure unsuspecting individuals into phony agribusiness contract farming partnerships.
This fraudulent operation offered attractive returns on investments, particularly in poultry farming, but left a trail of loss and regret when it abruptly shut down.
Capital Chicken’s Deceptive Promise
Operating under the guise of an agribusiness contract farming organization, Capital Chicken utilized social media influencers to entice Ugandans into bogus investments.
They presented an enticing scheme, assuring investors that their money would be used to bolster poultry farming.
The promised returns were substantial, ranging from 48 to 60 percent per month, with investment plans between Shs1 million and Shs10 million maturing in five months.
Many victims, like Mr. Rogers Ssegawa and Ms. Maria Nakanwagi, invested substantial sums, despite their reservations.
Capital Chicken’s representatives failed to provide evidence of their poultry farm, making it difficult for investors to assess the legitimacy of the scheme.
As their investments approached maturity, the scheme requested further investments, sowing doubt and suspicion among investors.
Proliferation of Red Flags
The scheme’s operations manager, Pius Wamanga, raised several red flags by deflecting inquiries and even providing checks that could not be cashed.
Eventually, investors began to uncover the extent of the deception.
They discovered that Capital Chicken had moved their money, leading to widespread financial losses.
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) issued a warning in September, cautioning against investing in unregulated schemes like Capital Chicken.
The CMA clarified that the company was not authorized to offer investment contracts and emphasized that it was under police investigation.
As of October 5, the police had recorded statements from 41 victims, revealing transactions totaling approximately Shs1,641,376,000.
Pius Wamanga and Ernest Sempebwa were identified as primary suspects, and the police urged affected individuals to cooperate with the investigation.
Capital Chicken’s Response
In response to social media complaints, Capital Chicken released a statement insisting that clients’ capital was secure.
They highlighted their Sanlam Insurance coverage and quality breeds but have since closed their office in Kamwokya-Kanjokya Street.
History of Ponzi Schemes in Uganda
“Capital Chicken” is not the first Ponzi scheme to defraud Ugandans.
In recent years, similar scams like BLQ, Telexfree, Dunamiscoins Resources Ltd, and fraudulent non-profit organizations have left victims counting their losses, highlighting the need for greater vigilance and regulatory oversight.
The “Capital Chicken” Ponzi scheme has left Ugandans reeling from significant financial losses, underscoring the dangers of fraudulent investment schemes.
Regulatory bodies like CMA have issued warnings to protect investors, but the proliferation of such scams emphasizes the need for increased vigilance and education about safe investment practices.