Head of Ringing Bells, company behind 4-dollar phone in India, arrested

27.02.2017

Mohit Goel has been arrested on allegations of fraud in India, the BBC reports. Goel is the director of Ringing Bells, which started offering the “world’ cheapest smartphone” a year ago. The device costed 251 rupees (around 4 dollars), which is why it was called Freedom 251. Initial excitement quickly turned into skepticism, now distributors’ complaints have tipped the scales.

Back in February 2016, the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) said that the phone “seems to be a joke or a scam.” And it would appear they weren’t far off. However, that didn’t stop the Freedom 251 from gaining a huge amount of media attention and millions of orders in India.
The price wasn’t the only thing that seemed off one year ago. Android Authority claimed that delivered Freedom 251 devices were actually Adcom Ikon 4’s, which are Chinese smartphones that cost 54 dollars at the time. The logo was covered with white correction fluid.
Now complaints from manufacturer Ayam Enterprises have led to the arrest of Goel, almost a year after he first announced the Freedom 251. Ayam Enterprises said it only got half of the devices it paid for and even claims to have received death threats if it kept asking for more. The police has told the BBC that they’re investigating Goel on “a number of similar complaints that have been filed against him from other parts of the state.”
Everything seems to point to the “cheapest phone of the world” being nothing more than a scam. The police in India warned that “technology-related frauds” are on the rise and consumers should think twice before buying something that seems too good to be true.
 
Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-39074037
Pic: © freedom251info.com
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