Mohit Goel, the man behind the Freedom 251 phone, has been arrested from Greater Noida, allegedly because of his role in a fraud worth Rs 45 Lakhs. Goel earlier formed a company called Ringing Bells private limited and had offered a smartphone at the promotional price of Rs 251. The phone was called Freedom 251. However, the smartphones were not delivered to most of the consumers who had booked them or purchased them. That lead to Goel's arrest in 2017 for committing fraud. In 2018 he was held by police allegedly in an extortion case. This time, Goel has been arrested for an alleged dry fruit business fraud.
According to a report in the Times of India, Indirapuram-based Vikas Mittal filed an FIR against Goel and five others alleging fraud of Rs 41 lakh. "He had cheated Vikas Mittal of Rs 41 lakh and when the victim confronted him, he was threatened. On August 19, the accused tried to run Mittal over by a car. Mittal was injured and on the same day, he lodged a police complaint against Goel," Sanjay Pandey, SHO, Indirapuram told TOI.
The police raided Goel's house in Greater Noida on Monday and he was arrested.
"Following the FIR, a team from Ghaziabad police raided Goel's house and arrested him. Five others have been named in the FIR," Pandey reportedly said.
In 2017, Goel grabbed headlines when he offered to sell the world's cheapest smartphone named the Freedom 251 at only Rs 251. The phone was heavily marketed and over 30,000 bookings were made for the phone. However, most buyers never got smartphones. The company reportedly provided refunds to customers who pre-booked the Freedom 251.
Days after Goel had announced the phone, the government officials discovered that the product did not have a Bureau of Indian standard certification. Ringing Bells was also accused of fraud and non-payment of dues by its customer services provider Cyfuture. However, the company claimed that it delivered 5,000 units of Freedom 251 to customers.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today