LIST: Schemes similar to Capital Chicken that have scammed Ugandans billions

Kampala, (Uganda): On Monday this week, thousands of Ugandans woke from their “dead sleep” to realise that they had fallen victim to a new twist of Capital Chicken, an investment scheme which appeared too good to be true.

Just like similar scams that have duped Ugandans in the past, Capital Chicken attracted potential investors to buy pricing plans which would allow the company to invest their money in the poultry reading business and then share with them profits afterwards.

Operating between the years 2021 and 2023, Capital Chicken had its head offices along Kanjokya Street in Kampala Central Division, where individuals entrusted their money for investment, with the promise of returns. Initially, this operation appeared to run smoothly, but recently, concerns arose as some members encountered unusual behaviour from the management.

Reports indicated that members were being asked to “come back later” when visiting the office for transactions. On September 29, 2023, the situation escalated when individuals arrived at the office to find it unexpectedly closed.

In light of these developments, concerned citizens promptly reported the matter to the police.

ASP Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Deputy Spokesperson Wednesday said police had commenced investigations at Kira Road police station under case numbers GEF 38/2023 and GEF 39/2023 where statements have been recorded from 41 victims.

“The 41 victims have shed light on transactions totalling approximately shs1.6 million. Furthermore, relevant documents pertaining to these transactions have been recovered to aid in our ongoing investigation,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.

The development comes barely a year after BLQ, a sports betting scam fleeced Ugandans of billions of shillings before vanishing in thin air. Up to now, the victims have never got justice.

Some of the similar Ponzi schemes that have scammed Ugandans in the past include;

1. World Global Mobile Network

The World Global Mobile Network which operated in 2012 used a Mobile Network Technology via voice over internet protocol technology like Skype to market its membership strategy. The scheme required affiliates to purchase a package and have access to a global mobile network sim card which could allow you to make calls and SMS.

Promoters of the scheme were promised payment each time they made calls or sent messages and when they recruited friends and families, they could make more money each time their recruits made calls or sent messages.

The scheme according to the investigation took advantage of the fact that communication using phones is a necessity in people’s lives and therefore claimed to be sharing their profits with their affiliates.

2. Telex Free

This was the most popular Ponzi scheme that operated in Uganda in 2013 and fleeced many Ugandans with huge sums of money. Telex was a multi-level internet marketing scheme which started placing one advert per day on free classified sites as the company paid you $20 per week.

“Or you could purchase the family pack for $1375 which allowed you to place five adverts per day and earn $100 per week.”

Promoters would not receive commissions on that product but instead, they would pay in dollars so as to place dollars but the scheme eventually collapsed without compensating promoters.

At the time of their sudden collapse, over shs7 billion injected in the scheme by promoters was lost in the process.

3. Adfast Inc

Also operating as Tesco trader, United HYIP League, Massive Ads and Bank Electro these also operated in 2013 and the promoters made them appear as companies registered in the United Kingdom yet 90% of their traffic was in Uganda.

Under these schemes, affiliates are required to pay a specific amount of money for membership and are promised a guaranteed fixed return on investment.

The startup capital minimum for each of these was shs780,000 at the Silver level paying a weekly fixed income of shs81,900 all the way up to the diamond level where investors would contribute up to shs31,200,000 and receive a weekly fixed income of shs4,680,000.

The promoters would then receive these funds through their back office as e-money but could only withdraw by paying for those who are joining. “Without anyone joining, withdrawal of funds was impossible.”

There were several complaints by members for failure to withdraw their accumulated e- money and the administrators shut down the websites leading to the collapse of the schemes.

Two people including Rogers Byamukama and Ronald Muramuzi were behind the schemes but the latter was arrested and charged with cyber fraud.

4. One Thor

After the closure of Telex Free based in Brazil, one of its lead promoters Misael Martin created One Thor where he claimed to offer a clear set of four primary product categories. These included digital electronics, wellness (vital branded food supplements), wish energy drinks and digital advertising.

Just like with Telex Free, promoters were promised a commission for advertising products they had first purchased for either $350 for individuals or $1500 for the family package.

The promoters were to be paid a weekly promotion commission but the scheme collapsed and Ugandans lost over shs2 billion.

Amazon traders

This scheme claimed to be a technology-driven financial services corporation that delivered value to its clients by investing in cutting–edge technological solutions.

The company lured the public into its net by asking them to invest money starting at the junior level of between $50 to $200 up to the director level of between $5,000 and $20000 with the promise of reaping big through daily returns of between one per cent to 1.9% depending on how much one had paid for 52 weeks.

Despite claiming to be a European company, Alexa rankings showed that over 80% of the website’s traffic was coming from Uganda, a clear indication that its administrators were from Uganda.

Other Ponzi and pyramid schemes included World Ventures, Viral Angels, Prosperity Club, Global Finance, D9 Club, One Coin, DAG Coin, First Coin, Bux Coin, Dunamiscoin and Alliance in Motion.

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