Freedom 251 was introduced as cheapest phones in India. Crores of people had pre-booked the phone but never got it delivered. It was considered a national scam until Mohit Goel, the managing director of Ringing Bells, the company behind the Freedom 251 revealed that he has the reason for not being able to deliver the phones.
Goel’s firm had promised to deliver the phones to 7.5 crore people who had ordered the phone in 2015 ut failed to do so because of his manufacturer Vie Technology Private Limited. According to Goel, he was approached by Vie’s chairman Vikas Sharma who claimed that he can help manufacture Freedom 251. “Vikas claimed he owns a factory and office in China and would deliver each smartphone at Rs 1,080,” Goel told a leading daily. “I collaborated with some mobile apps to provide the handsets at subsidized rates.”
Goel’s firm had promised to deliver smartphones to the 7.5 core people that booked them in 2015, but says if he wasn’t able to deliver thanks to problems with his manufacturer, Vie Technology Private Limited. According to Goel, he was approached by Vie’s director Vikas Sharma in August 2015, claiming he could help manufacture the Freedom 251. “Vikas claimed he owns a factory and office in China and would deliver each smartphone at Rs 1,080,” Goel told Times of India. “I collaborated with some mobile apps to provide the handsets at subsidized rates.”
Goel said he first transferred Rs 35 lakh to Sharma, eventually having given him Rs 3.27 crore by January 2016. “However, the accused siphoned off the money and did not deliver the goods. Every time I asked him about the smartphones, he made some excuse,” Goel says.
Goel adds that the manufacturer produced only Rs.1.23 cr worth of smartphones and that too of very poor quality. When the distributors of Ringing Bells demanded a return, the manufacturer signed two cheques worth Rs.1 cr each and both of them bounced.
Goel says that Sharma and his associate, Jitendra Harwani, began ignoring his calls, right up until Goel himself was arrested in February on charges of cheating filed by his distributors. After his release, he tried to contact them again but got threatened in return. He filed an FIR against them and they were arrested in November this year.
Goel has opened a new office in Delhi and is positive about delivering the phones to those who had ordered the phones earlier. In 2015 the company started refunding amount to its first 30,000 customers and it’s not clear if that task was completed or not. It is quite confusing on how he going to deliver the phones to those who booked it two years ago.
“I’m now entering into a new venture. I’ll not disclose details at this stage. But by April-May 2018, I’ll provide mobile phones to all those who had booked Freedom 251,” Goel said.
We hope the phones are delivered to those who had ordered it.