One might recall Freedom 251, the company that sold mobile phones for just Rs 251 a few years ago. While the business idea had left the nation in disbelief and bulk bookings, it landed in numerous controversies with accusations of it being a ‘scam.’One of those who had raised a flag on the company was Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya, who felt vindicated after its owner, formerly CEO of Ringing Bells, Mohit Goel was arrested in a fraud case.
As per reports, Mohit Goel was arrested for cheating dry fruit traders to the tune of Rs 200 crore with his company Dubai Dry fruits and Spices Hub. The Noida-based businesssman was arrested in the city on Sunday.
Police reporedly stated that they had received over 40 complaints over his fraudulent activities, Goel, along with four others, were accused of duping the traders by not making payments, after gaining trust with prompt payments initially. He would then file cases against the traders who would raise a flag on him.
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya expressed vindication for ‘exposing’ the Fredoom 251 scam, along with a screenshot of a tweet from February 2016 urging the Telecom Ministry to probe the ‘abnormal unusual offer’.
"Freedom 251" Ringing Bells Co's Mohit Goel, The Scam I had exposed in February 2016, is now arrested for another Fraud of ₹200 Crore.— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) January 13, 2021
Cheating dry fruit traders through a company called Dubai Dry fruits and Spices Hub @BJP4India @BJP4Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/dByX0DfRxj
As per reports, the police stated that he had been eventually been arrested for the Freedom 251 scheme. He then set up a company selling TVs and mobiles, and more involving dry foods and ayurvedic commodities, all of which ran into trouble, as cases were registered against him for all of them.
'Freedom 251' had become a huge talking point as it termed itself as the ‘world’s cheapest smartphone’, being sold for Rs 251. It had planned to deliver 2.5 million handsets to people in 2016 and received 70 crore registrations, with buyers on first day offered refunbds. However, it turned out to be a damp squib.