GREATER NOIDA: Mohit Goel, the man behind the Freedom 251 phone, has been arrested in Greater Noida, allegedly for his role in a Rs 45 lakhs fraud. Goel previously founded Ringing Bells Private Limited, which offered a smartphone at a promotional price of Rs 251. Freedom 251 was the name of the then world’s cheapest phone.
The smartphones, however, were not delivered to the majority of the customers who had reserved or purchased them. This resulted in Goel’s arrest in 2017 for fraud. In 2018, he was arrested by police on suspicion of extortion. This time, Goel has been arrested for allegedly committing a dry fruit business fraud.
Indirapuram-based Vikas Mittal filed an FIR against Goel and five others, accusing them of Rs 41 lakh in fraud. He defrauded Vikas Mittal of Rs 41 lakh and threatened the victim when he confronted him. On August 19, the accused attempted to run over Mittal with a car. Mittal was injured, and on the same day, he filed a police complaint against Goel.
On Monday, police raided Goel’s home in Greater Noida and arrested him. Five more people have been named in the FIR.
Goel made headlines in 2017 when he offered to sell the world’s cheapest smartphone, the Freedom 251, for Rs 251. The phone was heavily promoted, and over 30,000 reservations were made for it. However, the majority of purchasers did not receive smartphones. Customers who pre-booked the Freedom 251 allegedly received refunds from the company.
Days after Goel announced the phone, government officials discovered that it lacked Bureau of Indian Standards certification. Ringing Bells was also accused of fraud and non-payment of dues by Cyfuture, its customer service provider. However, the company claimed to have delivered 5,000 Freedom 251 units to customers.