Freedom 251 maker Ringing Bells director Mohit Goel detained for fraud

Mohit Goel, the Director of Noida-based company Ringing Bells which had announced Freedom 251 smartphones at an astonishingly low price of Rs. 251 apiece, was detained on Thursday in Ghaziabad on allegations of fraud, police said.

Goel has been detained after the owner of Ghaziabad-based Ayam Enterprises filed a FIR yesterday alleging that Ringing Bells "defrauded" it of Rs. 16 lakh.Ghaziabad Deputy SP Manish Mishra said Goel has been detained for interrogation in the matter.

In the FIR, Ayam Enterprises has claimed it was persuaded by Goel and others from Ringing Bells to take up the distributorship of the Freedom 251 phones in November 2015.

"We paid Rs. 30 lakh to Ringing Bells through RTGS on different occasions. But it delivered us product worth Rs. 13 lakh only. Upon follow-up, we could get products plus money totaling Rs. 14 lakh," it claimed in the FIR. The owners of Ayam Enterprises claim that they were threatened with life if they asked for the rest Rs. 16 lakh "again and again".

Ringing Bells had begun the sale of Freedom 251 handsets, touted as the world's cheapest, via its website in February last year.

It landed in a controversy, however, with some alleging it was like ponzi scheme. The firm had claimed that around 30,000 customers had booked the phone despite some glitch and seven crore people registered for it.

Ringing Bells had also claimed that the Freedom 251 was a made-in-India phone and that the company was launching to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India Vision. The company even took out front page advertisements in the leading newspapers in the country. However, in the end it turned out that the Freedom 251 was probably a marketing exercise, likely at the cost of inconvenience to all those who had pre-booked the phone. Ringing Bells later came out with several other phones that were priced more regularly, in line with the price of other budget phones in the market.

Freedom 251 is top trending mobile phone of 2016 on Google Search in India

Where Has ‘Freedom 251’, World’s Cheapest Smartphone, Gone? Did anyone get it?

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