Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Kamono Farm Initiative Limited and Kamono Cooperative Society Limited directors arrested for fraud and money laundering causing anxiety to investors.

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Anxiety has gripped scores of Zambians that have invested their money in Kamono Farm Initiative Limited and Kamono Cooperative Society Limited following the arrest of people behind the two firms by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC).

DEC has since seized Kamono’s funds and frozen the accounts.

Kamono Farm has been offering contract farming which is the acquisition of agricultural services to produce crops or rear livestock at an agreed period and amount in which a client pays an amount and the producer (Kamono Farm Initiatives) takes full responsibility for the production and selling.

Thereafter, a client gets a payout with profit after the agreed period as the producer carries out production at their farms, using their equipment, labour and skills.

Kamono Farm has been promising to pay people investing in their business huge amounts of profits amounting up to K350,000 when one invests K35,000 in 13 months.

Several people were found camped at the Kamono Farm Offices in Kitwe which were closed.

“We are disappointed to see Kamono Offices closed, otherwise we are very disappointed with investigating wings especially the DEC, Anti-Corruption and the police themselves because they were supposed to come into the issue earlier before Kamono got people’s money,” a man said in Kitwe.

“I am very disappointed over the Kamono issues because when opening this company Kamono they registered with the Government through PACRA and they were allowed to operate. I am worried as someone who invested in Kamono,” a lady complained to Radio Icengelo News.

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has confirmed arresting the Directors, Chairperson and Treasurer of Kamono Farm Initiative Limited and Kamono Cooperative Society Limited for Fraud and Money Laundering.

DEC Public Relations Officer Hussein Khan said the Commission has jointly charged and arrested Fanwell Zulu, Enock Chibutu, Maxwell Masempela, Mirriam Soko and Matimba Chongo for Providing Banking Business or Financial Services without a Licence.

“This is contrary to section 6 of the Banking and Financial Services Act of 2017 of the Laws of Zambia, Conducting a Money Circulation Scheme contrary to section 157 of the Banking and Financial Services Act and Money Laundering contrary to section 7 of the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act 14. of 2001 as read with Act No. 44 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia. Particulars of the matter are that Fanwell Zulu a male aged 35 of Farm No. 1877A Ndola Road Kabwe, Enock Chibutu a male aged 29 of Railways Compound in Kabwe, Maxwell Masempela a male aged 55 of Flat No. 4 Kapiri East, Mirriam Soko a female aged 30 of House No.1467 Chilenje and Matimba Chongo a male aged 32 of Meanwood Ndeke in their capacity as Directors, Chairperson and Treasurer respectively of Kamono Farm Initiative Limited and Kamono Cooperative Society Limited jointly and while acting together with other persons unknown on dates but between 1st January 2021 and 30th September 2022 provided banking business and financial services to members of the public without a licence from the Bank of Zambia by fraudulently collecting deposits amounting to K134,865,286,” Mr. Khan said.

“Kamono invited members of the public to invest in their various agricultural schemes which resulted in the collection of the above funds purporting that they would get returns when in fact not. However the production levels at the farms could not generate such returns. Further, they engaged in money laundering involving proceeds of crime by receiving and possessing cash at hand amounting to K766, 552.49, and funds in various company bank accounts amounting to K15, 531,722.99 as well as in various mobile money accounts amounting to K38, 611.04.The Commission has seized these funds and frozen the accounts. The suspects are on bond and will appear in court soon,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a facebook statement posted on the Kamono Page, the firm said it has been crippled and rendered incapable of fulfilling its obligations to its clients and creditors for the time being.

“Greetings clients, partners and country men and women. As some of you may be aware, the government, through the Drug Enforcement Commission, has been conducting investigations into the operations of Kamono. Yesterday afternoon, DEC arrested and charged 3 directors and shareholders of the company, together with two critical management personnel. On top of that, DEC has seized properties of the company and money intended to continue the production life of the company at the four major production sites. The effect of this is that Kamono as a going concern has been crippled and rendered incapable of fulfilling its obligations to its clients and creditors for the time being,” Kamono wrote.

“Being law abiding citizens, and desirous of according the state both time and an environment to conduct and properly conclude their investigations and prosecutorial undertakings, the directors and shareholders called a special emergency meeting to make resolutions with respect to the fate of the company and the plight of its clients and creditors in the face of the government’s decision. Arising from the foregoing, and the deliberations of the meeting, the directors resolved to take the unfortunate and painful step of invoking the force majeure clause in the respective contracts signed with clients for pay-outs that were due and remained unpaid either in part or in full as of 18th April, 2023, and leave those that are yet to mature in future to continue running alongside these investigative processes.”

“It was further resolved that management and clients or their representatives meet at Kabayi farm on the 6th of May, 2023, where other matters will be clarified and resolved. We urge our clients in view of this to register for the visit through the link. We wish to clarify that the company has not been closed down as no liquidation proceedings against it have been commenced, nor has a winding up order been issued from the courts, but simply that although it is alive in fact it has been killed in principle as the actions of DEC and the state at large have incapacitated it as a going concern. It is a regrettable state of affairs, but we have confidence in the process and good will of the state and the responsible state institutions, especially the republican president, who has time and time again pronounced his commitment to bettering the economy and the lives of Zambians generally, which in our model and concept of business we sought and endeavoured to compliment. In that spirit, it is our hope that the steps taken by the state are in the interest of the public and our clients, with a view to secure their interests, as we did. We therefore call for calm and cooperation from our clients and the general public at large as we all go through this very unfortunate and inconvenient process, with the hope that we shall come out better and stronger. May God bless our country, and may he bless you all. I thank you,” the statement concluded.

6 COMMENTS

    • Zambians learn and grow up. Didn’t I tell you that these cooperatives are gabage?
      Lets go back to parastatals, government need ran these sh!t and employ those people in pictures. Meetings don’t feed children.

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  1. There is no such things as a free lunch, if something sounds too good to be true then it often is not the real deal.

    Commisarations to the people that have lost funds, focus should be on making use of the existing funds that have been recovered to repay back as many investors as possible.

  2. Where in the world can you get 1000% returns from farming after 1 year. The people who invested were too greedy or too dull and now they have lost their money. They will be lucky even if the get back 50% of their investment and that too after all the court cases are over.

  3. 1000% profit should have been a red flag. If Kamono can make those returns don’t you think they would have done it alone without involving 3rd parties.

    Nomba greed ba people nowonder these Ponzi schemes keeps on popping up & thriving. I hope they lose all their money people learn the hard way besides there’s actually no money left that’s the fact with Ponzi schemes. New investors pay older investors while Kamono gets a cut from each transaction until the whole system collapses when they’re nolonger new investors & everyone wants out. Sorry your money is lost “chewed”

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