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Peter Wangai (right) poses for a photo with an unidentified man in the United Arab Emirates. Wangai's get-rich-quick plan has brought tears to hundreds of investors, after he disappeared without offering the returns he promised. [Courtesy]

Peter Wangai had a burning desire to make it big in life. He also had the brains to actualise his lofty dreams.

His tale of rags to riches is unbelievable.

Born of a single mother, Wangai braved an impoverished childhood to emerge a millionaire.

As a thank you gift to his mother, he bought her a car two years ago. But his wealth has been built on the skeletons of dead ambitions, with hundreds of investors now grieving for their lost money.

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Many bought his dream from thousands of miles away from home; in the US, UK and the Gulf States.

A few of the investors in Wangai’s make-believe smart farming dream met at Uhuru Park on Saturday, to plan how to hunt down the man who promised them heaven, but delivered tears in torrents.

Before Saturday, these aggrieved investors had been in virtual meetings in a WhatsApp group formed last week, after it became clear that Wangai had vanished into thin air with their billions.

Many met for the first time, brought together by their shared misery. It is a story of how gullible investors trusted a man they only knew from the internet, and bought his idea that one can actually farm on their phones and computers, quadruple his wealth in three short years - all without dirtying his hands.

It was believable at first when the early bird investors got the initially promised instalments of returns, many reinvesting the same profits. At the end of the day, Wangai was the only winner.

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It was a deal too good to turn down, especially with the prospect of infinitely growing wealth from a seed capital of Sh380,000 – a relatively small amount.

In just seven months - one month for construction of a greenhouse, and the other six for crops to mature - an investor would earn Sh275,000.

In a year, the return is a whopping 145 per cent. Such returns are only possible in Ponzi type schemes which always end in tears.

Phone off

Wangai is nowhere to be found now after shutting three of his four company offices and switching off his phones.

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He has blocked all other platforms that people can reach him through, leaving many investors desolate and without a solution on how they will recover their money.

Their pain is accentuated by tales of how Wangai loved the good life, guarded by ex-presidential guards.

In one lengthy post, Wangai wrote: “I came to realise as you rise up the ladder, being visible, not everyone is happy with milestones you are achieving and thus your security comes in.”

In yet another, he is seen posing with an Arab man with connections to the royalties in Dubai.

But his success has come with a heavy financial cost and tears for thousands of his supposed victims.

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