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Remember the cheapest smartphone called Freedom 251, which created headlines back in 2016? Now, the company of the Rs. 251 priced smartphone has surfaced in news once again but for a different reason. Mohit Goel, the founder of Ringing Bells, which is the maker of the Freedom 251 smartphone was arrested along with two others in an extortion case on Sunday.
As per an ANI tweet, those who were arrested were allegedly trying to extort money to settle a rape case in Delhi. He had earlier spent three months in jail due to allegations of fraud. It was on May 31 that he got bail from the Allahabad High Court.
Mohit Goel was arrested on the basis of a complaint from Ghaziabad-based Ayam Enterprises. It was alleged that he defrauded the company of an amount worth Rs. 16 lakh. The charges were filed against Goel and four other directors of Ringing Bells on February 22 under the IPC section 467 for forgery of valuable security will, section 468 for forgery or cheating, section 471 (using a forged document or electronic device), section 420 for cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property and section 120b for criminal conspiracy.
Freedom 251 smartphone
Talking about the Freedom 251 smartphone, the device was launched in early 2016 at an unbelievable pricing of Rs. 251. Being the cheapest smartphone to date, it created headlines across the world. Around 30,000 customers had paid for the device and pre-ordered the handset online. A whopping seven crore people registered to get hold of the device when it was put up for sale. However, the sale was plagued by a slew of technical glitches.
After numerous issues and delays, Ringing Bells began selling the smartphone along with a few other models and accessories via the online retailer Amazon India. This probed inquiries from the police and tax authorities forcing the company to halt the sales.
Despite the discrepancies, Mohit Goel announced that the company is committed to take part in the Make in India and Start-up India initiatives. He added that the government did not support them to proceed with the same.