My hubby left me because of my reckless investment

I am a Dubai-based Jordanian mother of three. I sold my ancestral property back home to invest $175,000 in Exential. That is all I had, but now it’s all stuck and I am completely broke. My reckless investment annoyed my husband so much that he has left me in disgust. My kids are on the verge of dropping out of school and my husband wants their custody saying I cannot look after them. My life has become a mess.

A.B, Dubai

The banks are chasing me

I took huge bank loans to open nine accounts of $25,000 each with Exential and now the bank is chasing me for repayment. I don’t know what to do. I am so depressed that I can’t sleep well and get suicidal thoughts all day.

S.l, Dubai

I am an airline staff but often I’ve no money for even food

I am an employee of a UAE airline and just like many others was duped into investing with Exential. I started with one account of $20,000 and then took a loan from HSBC Bank and invested another $60,000.

Things went well for a year until I stopped receiving monthly payments. In January 2015, I placed a request to withdraw my accounts and gave 20-day notice as per their contract. However, till date nothing has been paid. I have been managing my expenses by using credit cards but now my debts have caught up with me. The banks call me daily but I can’t possibly pay them back as I have no additional source of income and most of my salary goes towards paying off existing loans. At times I have no money for even food. I don’t want to cheat any bank or run away. I would rather go to jail but I dread to think about the fate of my school-going daughter should that happen.

a.d, Dubai

Terrible sufferings

My wife and I have eight accounts of $25,000 each with Exential. We invested between November 2015 and January 2016 and have been suffering terribly because of this scam. Is there any way we can get our money back?

Syed, Dubai

No money to file court case

I find myself in the same boat as so many others after having had no returns on my $75,000 investment.

Like many others I also don’t have the financial means to open a court case against the company.

Name withheld, Dubai

I invested $250,000

I am a Dubai-based Kenyan. Enticed by incredible monthly returns I opened 10 accounts of $25,000 each with them. I don’t know when I will get it back, if at all.

M., Dubai

I am sending back my family

It’s been one year since I invested Dh150,000 with Exential but have not received even a single fils from them. I am the sole breadwinner in my family. I was leading a happy life until an Exential relationship manager convinced me to take a bank loan and invest in their forex scheme. I’ve not stopped regretting the decision because now my whole life is wrecked. My debts are mounting and I am considering sending my family back home to India as I am unable to afford their expenses. My kids will spend the best part of their childhood away from me and there is nothing I can do about it. That said I have faith in the UAE’s judiciary system and I hope that some day I would be able to get back my money and resume a normal life.

M.K., Dubai

We’re a group of 125 victims

We are a group of 125 of various nationalities. Between us we have lost anywhere between Dh25 and Dh30 million. Most took bank loans and are now facing an uncertain future.

J.K., Dubai

My wife asks me why I am so tense. What do I tell her?

I am an Indian expat who has been living in Sharjah for about 16 years now. As a senior project manager with an oil and gas company I get a fairly handsome salary. My wife works as a real estate agent. We always wanted to buy a house in India and had been saving for it for years. But as luck would have it, I put all my savings ($200,000) in Exential and that too without my wife’s knowledge. Several of my colleagues had forex accounts with them and were getting good monthly returns. Blinded by greed, I also decided to follow suit. Who would have thought it was a Ponzi-scheme?

Now our entire life’s savings are stuck and I don’t know how to break this terrible news to my wife. I am under so much stress that I have developed high blood-pressure. I used to be a fun-loving, jovial guy, but now I have become grumpy. My wife asks me why I remain so tense. What do I tell her? Occasionally I get emails from Exential saying that everything will be resolved soon, but how soon they never specify.

A.N, Dubai

Friends lost forever

I am Palestinian. I borrowed from friends and banks to open seven accounts of $25,000 each with Exential. It was the biggest mistake of my life. I don’t know how I can recover my capital. My friends lent me the money in good faith and now they are demanding it back. My inability to repay them has strained our relationship and I feel I have lost them forever.

R.A, Dubai

Shattered dreams

Exential owes me $113,707 (Dh416,162). I badly need these funds as I have a bank loan. I placed a request to withdraw my capital in March 2016 and as per the terms of their contract, should have got it back in 20 days. Nine months on, I am still waiting.

I.A, Dubai

Note: Names of investors have been kept secret to protect their identity

Can Exential investors get their money back?

Historically, Ponzi-scheme victims have rarely got back their money. In the odd instance when they have, it’s less than a penny to the dollar. So the chances of the 7,000 odd Exential clients recovering their losses are pretty slim -- more so because XPRESS investigations show that Exential’s boss squandered away the funds on a very extravagant lifestyle and may simply not have enough money left to refund all investors.

Under pressure from clients who have moved court, Exential’s chief recently set up another dodgy company called Pinnacle Asset & Investment Management to snare new investors and pay the old ones. To give the sham show a semblance of credibility, renowned forex educator Mario Singh was listed as the executive director of the company - a claim which Singh vehemently denied in a statement to XPRESS last week. Following our expose, Singh’s name and picture have been removed from the website.