Mohit Goel, the entrepreneur known for planning the launch of the infamous 'Freedom 251' phones, was arrested by the UP Police on Sunday evening near Meghdootam Parke in Sector 51, Noida. Goel has been accused of defrauding several dry fruit traders for a total amount of around Rs 200 crore, according to the UP Police. Goel was arrested along with five others on Sunday.
In 2017, Goel had attempted to sell 'Freedom 251' smartphones for Rs 251, dubbing it the cheapest smartphone on the market. However, the sale of the smartphones didn't go through and Goel was arrested in 2017 for committing fraud. He was even apprehended in an extortion case in 2018.
Goel has been running a company called Dubai Dry fruits and Spices Hub out of Corenthum, a premier office complex in Sector 62, Noida. The police said that they received at least 40 written complaints of fraud against the company from traders in Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and several other states. According to the Times of India, Goel ran the company with the help of at least four others. The company employed three foreigners, who worked as receptionists.
Additional Commissioner of Police Love Kumar has stated that Goel and his colleagues used to defraud traders by winning their trust. They did so by placing orders and making payments on time, they even gave partial advance payments. "Later, they would stop making payments, and the cheques issued by them would bounce. The accused would then get fake cases lodged against the traders under CrPC 156 (3) by approaching court," he told the daily. Kumar added that Goel and his colleagues posed dummies as managing directors and other high-level posts.
Kumar further explained that Goel used to purchase dry fruits at slightly higher prices from these traders and then used to sell them at much higher prices in the open market. He then made partial payments to the traders who he had bought the stock from. They used to pay 40 per cent of the amount through net banking. Rest of the amount they paid in cheques but all the cheques bounced when traders tried to cash them.
Police have stated that Goel, Sumit Yadav, Praveen Singh Nirwan and Rajiv Kumar alias Mursafil Lashkar were managing the company while Om Prakash Jangid, who was arrested along with Goel, was the proprietor of the firm.
The police had registered an FIR against the company on December 24, 2020, when Rohit Mohan, a trader based in Sector 65, had lodged a complaint against the firm.