Dubai: Sydney Lemos, the brainchild behind the dubious forex investment firm Exential, hails from Mapusa in north Goa, India.
Known for his love for football, Lemos, in his late 30s, made sure he was never one to hide it as well. In 2015, Lemos and his FC Prime Markets surprisingly moved in as principal sponsor over a five-year period of Indian Super League (ISL) side FC Goa.
Word then was that Lemos had agreed to this deal for a negligible amount of Rs2.8 million (Dh161,000). However, it later surfaced that the signing amount, and subsequent instalments amounted to a much higher figure of possibly in excess of Rs15 million.
In the UAE, Lemos has been equally active in the domestic football scene while fielding his FC Bardez during the annual Inter-Village Goan Ramadan Football Tournament held each year at Iranian Club in Dubai. “Since 2012, I have been associated with him [Lemos] and he promised to do a lot of things. But sadly, not many promises were kept,” a close associate of his told Gulf News, on condition of anonymity.
“I invested in his scheme as well, and initially the money came in as promised. But when it stopped, I called him and he simply even refused to pick up my calls or even return them,” said another.
Back in Goa, Lemos even had his Ferrari car transferred briefly to coincide with the signing with FC Goa. Besides that, Lemos also owned a BMW X6 and a Maserati.
“What is upsetting is not that I may never see my hard-earned money, but that not once he or his wife [Valany] even bothered to mention that the company was going through a rough time. That hurts,” added another.