New details have been disclosed by the police as part of their ongoing investigation into allegations of fraud involving a company called Capital Chicken.
It is estimated that citizens of Uganda may have suffered losses exceeding 1.6 billion Ugandan shillings in this scheme. The company convinced people to invest in what they claimed were “poultry farms” in Mukono District.
According to Luke Owoyesigyire, the Deputy Spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan Police, preliminary information suggests that from 2021 to 2023, Capital Chicken operated an office on Kanjokya Street in Kamwokya, Kampala Central Division. At this office, people entrusted their money for investment, with promises of returns.
Initially, everything seemed to be running smoothly. However, concerns started arising as some investors experienced unusual behavior from the company’s management. Reports indicated that when visitors came to the office for transactions, they were often told to “come back later.”
The situation escalated on September 29, 2023, when individuals who visited the office found it unexpectedly closed. Concerned citizens promptly reported this to the police.
Kira Road Police initiated investigations with case numbers GEF 38/2023 and GEF 39/2023.
Statements have been taken from 41 victims, shedding light on transactions totaling 1.6 billion shillings. Additionally, relevant documents related to these transactions have been recovered to assist in the ongoing investigation.
The suspects have been identified as Pius Wamanga Mudulo, Ernest Sempebwa, and others.
“We want to assure the public that we are taking this matter very seriously. Our investigators are working diligently to uncover the facts surrounding this alleged fraud,” Owoyesigyire stated.
The company allegedly encouraged investors to provide funds for chicken farming, only to close the firm and disappear with the money.
On their website, Capital Chicken describes themselves as an agribusiness contract farming partnership enterprise that raises poultry on behalf of individuals looking to earn income from poultry farming but facing obstacles such as limited skills, land access, capital, market stability, and time.
Capital Chicken’s scheme targeted corporate workers seeking additional income beyond their salaries, promising to manage the chicken business for them while they reaped the profits.
The police urged anyone affected by the company or with information about the case to come forward and cooperate with their investigators.
“As the investigation progresses, we will continue to provide updates to keep the public informed,” Owoyesigyire noted.
As an early warning, in August of this year, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) issued a red alert regarding Capital Chicken, cautioning the public against the company.
“The general public is hereby advised that the said entities have not sought the approval of the authority to offer investment contracts to the general public. It is important to note that in the absence of regulatory oversight, investors in unregulated investment activities have limited recourse in the event of unfair treatment, loss, or other challenges faced in their investment journey,” CMA said in a statement.
The statement also emphasized, “Accordingly, members of the public are urged to participate in investment opportunities approved or regulated by CMA or any other relevant regulator, and are further urged to seek investment advice from licensed investment advisors or other legitimate professionals to make sound investment decisions and avoid falling victim to investment fraud.”
A day after the statement was released, the management of Capital Chicken issued a response on September 18, 2023, defending their business. They clarified that Capital Chicken SMC LTD operates as a farming partnership company under the Companies Act of 2012, emphasizing that they pool resources together in partnership. They also assured their clients that their capital is secure, citing Sanlaam insurance coverage and the use of high-quality breeds to ensure proper returns.