Greenhouses scam: police arrest Goldenscape CEO Peter Wangai
Detectives attached to the Serious Crimes Unit on Thursday arrested Goldenscape Group Limited boss Peter Wangai Muriithi.
According to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Wangai, who is the founder and CEO Goldenscape Group Limited, was arrested for deceiving investors who ventured into the greenhouse business, which turned out to be fraudulent.
“Mr. Wangai through his company lured investors to invest in greenhouses that were to be set up in Ol Kalou, Nyahururu and other places which turned out to be fraudulent investment deal,” DCI notes.
The Goldenscape Founder and CEO now face charges of obtaining money by pretences, conspiracy to defraud, false representation, and issuing bad cheques.
The DCI launched a manhunt against Goldenscape CEO after an expose aired on Citizen TV.
DCI detectives on March 12 raided the company’s offices in Karen, Nairobi and rounded up five staff members for questioning.
The five employees are said to have been in the office during the raid that saw the detectives cart away documents and computers for examination.
A total of 53 people who claim that they invested in the company have since lodged complaints with the DCI since the exposé aired on the prime time news bulletin of Wednesday, March 4.
Goldenscape Greenhouses offered contractual obligations to investors, with an assurance of a Sh550,000 return on a Sh320,000 investment after six months.
On February 27, 2020, the company through its social media page posted that they will start paying the investors on February 29, 2020, however, according to the investors, that never happened.
“We will be paying all our investors their returns on investments on 29th February 2020 and continue with the monthly investment payments as we always do,” the company wrote on Facebook.
The post also indicated that they were diverting to herbs farming starting March 1, 2020, and shared pictures of Rosemary plants.
“We will introduce a new Phase i.e Phase 5B with a new return on investment rates starting 1st March 2020. Below are Rosemary plants on our farms where we are practicing a sylvicultural type of farming,” they added.
Two days after the expose was aired they wrote again, “We will start giving back the capital invested by our investors starting from 20th March 2020 which will be done in trenches of course. We are very optimistic our company will resume normal operations very soon more so when our financiers release the funds to us. The investors who will receive their capital back will be the ones who are willing to terminate their contracts. We remain committed to serving you,”
On the day of payment, the company sent investors emails with amended contracts with reduced returns and reduced contract period.