Noida-based entrepreneur Mohit Goel, who was arrested by Ghaziabad police on Thursday night over alleged non-payment of Rs 16 lakh, claimed that he was time and again targeted by rival competitors and alleged that the motive behind his implication in this case was a “conspiracy” to throw him out of the smartphone business.
“There is someone, who wants that I don’t go back to my business... I cannot name the person. I was offered Rs 10-20 crore and asked to leave the business, but I did not accept this offer. Now, I am facing several obstacles,” said Goel at Sihani Gate Police station before his arrest by the Ghaziabad police on Thursday night.
The FIR by complainant Akshay Malhotra of Ayam Enterprises, one of the distributors in Ghaziabad of Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd, states that Rs 16 lakh payment was pending from the company as it failed to deliver phones and accessories to him.
Goel will be produced before a magistrate in Ghaziabad district court on Friday afternoon.
Goel, a graduate of Amity University, shot into limelight in February 2016 when he announced world’s cheapest smartphone – Freedom 251 at the price of Rs 251 in a high-profile function attended by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi.
The 3G phone with a 4-inch WVGA resolution display, features a 1.3 Ghz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB total storage space and a 3.2 megapixel camera on the back. It has a 0.3 MP selfie camera and a 1450 mAh battery.
In December 2016, Goel quit as managing director of Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd along with his wife Dharna Garg who was serving as the CEO of the company.
He clarified his position saying he doesn’t hold any position in the Ringing Bells company, but is supporting his brother Anmol Goel, who is the current managing director of the company, in running this company.
Mohit Goel and his partner Ashok Chaddha, who was working as the President of Ringing Bells, have formed a new company MDM Electronics Private Limited.
The former managing director of Ringing Bells said that “he will deliver” the Rs 251-priced smartphones at any cost and will also upgrade the smartphones technology from 3G to 4G.
“We have plans to upgrade the previous 3G smartphones to 4G. This will increase our cost by Rs 100-125, but we will upgrade and deliver the phones at the promised price of Rs 251,” he added.
Without naming anyone, he said, “Someone wants the company to move out of business”. He said about a year back they were also called by the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation.
“Both ED and the CBI summoned us, but after we explained to them our business model, they did not call us again. It is because we did not take money from anyone. Our phone is delivered on cash on delivery (COD) basis,” he said.
He said that Ringing Bells has received nearly 7.5 crore bookings for the smartphones out of which nearly 70,000 phones were delivered on COD basis.
“We also have a dispute with a Delhi-based firm which is manufacturing and assembling phones for us. We have filed a case against them at the Patiala House courts. We will soon lodge an FIR as our business is stuck because of them,” he said.
In March last year, after a complaint from BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, Noida police registered an FIR against Ringing Bells company under section 420 of IPC and the IT Act, following which his passport was seized.
“This has restrained me from visiting foreign countries, where I was scheduled to finalise deals related to Freedom 251 phones. Due to seizure of passports, I have suffered for a year. I will ask Somaiya if he can compensate for our loss which we suffered for nearly a year?” he said.