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Story of fake greenhouse project that cost businessman George Wachiuri Sh200M

Wachiuri revealed that his company had received investors from as far as the U.S. who invested millions into the project before finding out it was a scam.

Optiven Limited CEO George Wachiuri

George Wachiuri, the Chief Executive Officer of Optiven Limited, has shared the tale of how venturing into greenhouse projects ended up costing his company Sh200 million in 2017.

The ambitious 2017 venture - initially promising vast fortunes from agribusiness - took an unexpected turn, leaving customers and the company in financial distress.

During a period when the demand for greenhouses was soaring in Kenya, Wachiuri seized the opportunity to partner with another company, aiming to offer their customers a chance to delve into agribusiness with high hopes of financial success.

In this venture, Wachiuri's role was to provide the land and valuable infrastructure, such as drilling boreholes and implementing water piping into each plot.

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The other partner, in turn, took charge of installing and managing the greenhouses on behalf of the customers, while also handling the marketing of the produce.

The partnership seemed promising, leading to the purchase of 200 acres of land, accompanied by extensive infrastructure development, including fencing and drilling of boreholes.

"We found a partner and we agreed we would provide land, we bought 200 acres and did all the infrastructure including drilling boreholes and even fenced it and the project was excellent," the businessman told Lynn Ngugi in an interview on Tuesday .

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As the word spread about the potential monthly revenues of Sh600,000 promised to customers, the demand for the greenhouses surged exponentially.

Customers, some even investing from abroad, saw the venture as an attractive opportunity for substantial returns.

However, the dream quickly turned into a nightmare. Wachiuri soon discovered that the greenhouses were nothing more than a deception, leaving customers, including those who had invested millions, frustrated and disillusioned.

Realizing the severity of the situation, Optiven promptly reported the matter to the authorities, leading to a prolonged legal battle that spanned over four years.

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In the face of this harrowing situation, Wachiuri was however determined to uphold the trust of his valued customers.

With unwavering commitment, he went the extra mile to secure Sh200 million loan and took it upon himself to repay every single customer their invested funds.

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