Detectives on Thursday arrested Goldenscape Group Limited founder and chief executive Wangai Muriithi wanted for allegedly conning Kenyans millions of money in fake greenhouse investment deals.
According to Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers, unsuspecting Kenyans lost millions of their hard-earned cash after being lured to invest in greenhouses in Ol Kalou and Nyahururu and other places by the suspect and his proxies.
The investment, however, turned into a con game that gobbled up millions of shillings from victims, who later sought the help of DCI and the media after failing to recoup their investments as was promised.
The would-be “smart farmers” who believed the Goldenscape narrative did not get any return two years into the investment despite taking heavy loans to invest in the scheme.
The mouth-watering deal that was backed by commercials on TV that made the firm look credible saw Goldenscape Greenhouses offer contractual obligations to investors, with an assurance of a Sh550,000 return on a Sh320,000 investment after six months.
“The money I expected as returns from the investment would have been over Sh7 million. That would have taken me out of poverty,” stated one of the investors.
Muriithi has been playing hide and seek with the police since a local TV station carried an expose on how the firm swindled millions from Kenyans until March 26 when detectives caught up with him.
“Serious Crime Unit detectives have today arrested Peter Wangai Muriithi, Founder Goldenscape Group Limited. Wangai through his company lured investors to invest in Greenhouses that were to be set up in Ol Kalou, Nyahururu other places which turned out to be fraudulent,” said DCI.
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Muriithi will be charged with obtaining money by false pretences, conspiracy to defraud, false representation, and issuing bad cheques.
According victims’ accounts, Goldenscape offered them the option of leasing greenhouses with contracts that promised rich returns, only to fail to pay them from late last year despite numerous promises and assurances.
DCI detectives on March 12 raided the company’s offices in Karen, Nairobi and rounded up five staff members for questioning.
Many families have fallen victim to make-believe schemes of delivering long-term returns from ‘small investments’ that would be directed to lucrative ventures such as growing tomatoes.
In all cases, cunning proponents, in hindsight, were really never about commercial farming. That was a brilliant approach to sell swathes of land that would otherwise never find buyers.
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