Freedom 251 Scam: Director Mohit Goel under police arrest

Police arrests the man (Mohit Goel) behind cheapest smartphone nabbed for fraud in New Delhi,India. After arresting Mohit Goel, Director of Noida-based Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd, police said they were searching for four more directors of the company that launched the world's cheapest smartphone.

Freedom 251 Smartphone and its company director Mohit Goel was in the news last year claiming to be selling the world's cheapest smartphone at Rs.251 (USD 3.75) in India. A distributor of the phone claimed it had not received the handsets it had paid for from Mr Mohit Goel, 29, the director of Ringing Bells, BBC News reported yesterday. It went on pre-sale in February last year.

Freedom 251 received around 75 million orders. In the middle of last year, various Indian agencies launched investigations into the company. There was also one by the police for possible cheating. Several business analysts had said that the company might be offering a "Ponzi scheme", where money is collected for a non-existent product or service. Ayam Enterprises, the distribution company that made the complaint, said it paid three million rupees after Mr Goel, a former dried fruit businessman, persuaded it to distribute the phone.

As news of Goel's arrest emerged, several other distributors reached the police station, describing their suffering at the hands of the company, the official said. Goel was produced before a magistrate in Ghaziabad district court on Friday afternoon.

According to Akshay Malhotra, one of the distributors of Ayam Enterprises, Goel contacted him two years ago to become the clearing and forwarding (C&F) agent for his products. Malhotra paid Rs 30 lakh to Goel in four installments but Goel did not supply the consignment even after the promised delivery time lapsed.

Mohit Goel, a graduate of Amity University, shot into limelight in February 2016 when he announced world’s cheapest smartphone – Freedom 251 at the price of Rs 251 in a high-profile function attended by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi.

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