India police arrest cheap mobile maker on fraud charges

LUCKNOW, India — The director of an Indian company that claimed it was selling the world's cheapest smartphone was arrested Thursday on fraud charges, police said Friday.

Mohit Goel was arrested in the New Delhi suburb of Ghaziabad following a complaint that his company Ringing Bells had not supplied the handsets that a phone distribution company had paid for.

The launch of the smartphone called "Freedom251" and priced at rupees 251 ($3.70) in February 2016 was widely covered by the Indian media. The company's website on which pre-orders were taken crashed with huge numbers of people trying to access it to book a phone. Many customers who bought the phone said at the time that they were happy with the sleek features of the handset.

Police spokesman Rahul Srivastava said Friday that the arrest was made after the distribution company, Ayam Enterprises, filed a complaint that it had paid Goel 3 million rupees, but had received handsets worth only 1.3 million rupees.

In their complaint, Ayam Enterprises said they had agreed to distribute the phones and had paid Ringing Bells the money in advance.

Ringing Bells had failed to supply handsets or return the money to the distributor despite several reminders, police said.

However, Goel's company ran into troubles when some 30,000 customers paid for the phone on Ringing Bells' online site and were promised delivery of the handset by June — a promise the company failed to meet.

Financial frauds are common in India with people falling victim to scams. Mobile phone industry analysts were skeptical about the cheap smartphone and enthusiasm for Goel's phone faded after supplies stopped.

You may also like these

India plans surrogacy ban for foreigners,...

Aug 24, 2016

The Indian government plans to ban foreigners, single parents and gay couples from using India's...

Elephant habitats shrink in India as...

Feb 10, 2017

Wildlife activists say human encroachment in the forests of northeast India has forced elephants...

India launches more than 100 satellites into orbit

Feb 15, 2017

India's space agency says it successfully launched more than 100 foreign nano satellites into orbit...

Australia says it's ready to supply uranium to...

Apr 10, 2017

Australia says it's is ready to export uranium to India with the passing of legislation in its...

A wealthier India sees alarming rise in...

Jun 2, 2017

A two-decade economic boom has led to obesity in India's youth, and diabetes cases are rising among...

Search
Broaden News

Sign up now!

Recent Discovery will take you to the captivating developments in science, technology, and the universe around us. We deliver to you the latest news, theories, and developments in the world of science.

Contact us: sales[at]recentdiscovery.com