Man Behind Freedom 251 Smartphone Detained For Fraud

But it delivered us the product worth Rs 13 lakh only.

Mohit Goel, the owner of Noida based company Ringing Bells, which launched India's cheapest smartphone at Rs 251 past year, has been detained by Ghaziabad police on allegations of fraud.Ghaziabad Deputy SP Manish Mishra said Mr Goel had been detained for interrogation after an FIR was filed by the owner of Ghaziabad-based Ayam Enterprises alleging that Ringing Bells "defrauded" it of Rs. 16 lakh. "Upon follow-up, we could get products plus money totalling Rs 14 lakh".

Since its announcement of the Freedom 251, Ringing Bells has faced inquiries by police and tax officials.

Mohit Goel was arrested in the New Delhi suburb of Ghaziabad following a complaint that his company Ringing Bells had not supplied the handsets that a phone distribution company had paid for. He had taken money from several people under the guise of providing them distribution agencies of his smartphone company Ringing Bells a year ago. When he pursued Ringing Bells for a refund for the unfulfilled order, the dealer said Mohit Goel and another executive at the mobile phone maker threatened to kill him and his family.

When the company has announced the launch of the Freedom 251, over seven crore people registered for it and 30,000 people made advance payments too. However, the company denied the rumours and claimed to have delivered almost 70,000 phone sets in West Bengal, Haryana, Himachal, Bihar, Uttarakhand, New Delhi, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The launch of the smartphone called "Freedom251" and priced at rupees 251 ($3.70) in February 2016 was widely covered by the Indian media. The company had just applied whitener on the Adcom logo above the display. The company claimed that Ringing Bells had not honored their contract and also not paid them.

Ringing Bells launched several new devices, including Freedom HD LED TV in early July.

Back in December, the first reports about Ringing Bells allegedly shutting down, and top executives quitting surfaced online. Left with no other option, an FIR was lodged, and Ringing Bells founder Mohit Goel was detained by the police.

  • Zachary Reyes