Dubai police arrest CEO of Exential Forex scam, Sydney Lemos

UN report says North Korea laundered $2 billion theft via Hong Kong firm

An Indian chief executive of a forex trading company in Dubai who swore to double investors’ money was arrested for suspected fraud, authorities announced.

Sydney Lemos, 36, from Goa was the owner of Exential, a forex trading company in Dubai and was behind the failed Dh50 million ($13.6 million) foreign exchange scheme, the National daily reported.

The company was shut down by Department for Economic Development last July.

Lemos is also the owner of popular Indian football club FC Bardez Goa.

The daily said his clients lost money after his firm failed to pay out after promising 100% returns on a Dh91,800 ($25,000) investment.

Legal experts issued new warnings to potential investors after Lemos circulated an email encouraging new investment in an “advisory service”, trading under the Exential banner.

Lemos was arrested on December 21, 2016.

We are working with various authorities both inside and outside Dubai, and looking at the alleged laundering of more than Dh50 million by one individual,” the daily quoted a Carlton Huxley spokesman as saying.

Exential has earlier claimed that delays in processing investors’ funds were due to anti-money laundering and compliance investigations in Australia, according to the report.

John Rynne, a Carlton Huxley director and former senior officer with the Metropolitan Police in London, warned people about investing in schemes they know little about.

Dubai-based Syrian hairstylist Rafi Zazza who borrowed from relatives to open seven forex accounts of $25,000 each with the firm, commented:

Things are moving in the right direction and I am fairly optimistic of getting back my money.

The total number of forex accounts held by Exential is estimated to be around 18,000. Multiple account holders include an oil and gas company executive who reportedly has 700 accounts of $25,000 each and a former vice-president of an aluminium company who has about 350.

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