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Freedom 251: Ringing Bells general manager arrested by Ghaziabad police

After Mohit Goel, former managing director of smartphone company Ringing Bells, the Ghaziabad police has now arrested the firm’s general manager Sumit Kumar.

noida Updated: Feb 28, 2017 10:33 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mohit Goel,Ringing Bells MD arrest,Ringing Bells
File photo from the launch event of Freedom 251 mobile phone.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT File Photo)

The Ghaziabad police arrested the second of the five accused named in the FIR lodged against officials of smartphone company Ringing Bells, on Monday night.

The accused has been identified as Sumit Kumar, who is said to be the general manager of Ringing Bells.

Police have already arrested former MD Mohit Goel, while a court sent him to 14 days of judicial custody to Dasna jail. He is lodged in barrack number 7 along with nearly 100 other inmates. The company had shot to limelight after it announced ‘Freedom 251’, touted as the world’s cheapest smartphone, at an unbelievable price of Rs 251 apiece.

“Continuing investigations with the FIR lodged for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy, the accused Sumit Kumar was arrested along with nearly Rs 14.9 lakh cash and some documents. He will be produced before the court on Tuesday. So far, we have arrested two persons in connection with the FIR while a vigorous search is on for the other accused persons,” said Manish Mishra, circle officer (city), who is leading case investigation.

Police said that the accused was arrested along with an alleged forged approval letter, dated November 22, 2014, of the Cellular Operators Association of India and a cheque book of the company. Sumit hails from Muzaffarpur in Bihar and presently staying at Mandawali in Delhi.

The FIR at Sihani Gate was lodged by Akshay Malhotra, one of the company’s distributors based in Ghaziabad, who alleged that the company officials failed to pay back his balance amount of Rs 16 lakh. Malhotra lodged an FIR at the Sihani Gate police station on February 22.

Apart from Goel, the FIR names the present managing director and Mohit’s brother, Anmol Goel, Mohit’s wife Dharna Garg who resigned eight months back as CEO of Ringing Bells, company general manager Sumit Kumar, and Mohit’s partner Ashok Chaddha. The latter and Goel are now officials of a new firm.

After his arrest, Mohit was produced before a Ghaziabad court but the court slammed cops for not having evidence for sections of forgery and criminal conspiracy added to the FIR.

Later, during the second hearing, the court sent Mohit to 14 days of judicial custody only under sections of criminal breach of trust and cheating. The court, so far, has negated sections of forgery against Mohit as police could not provide enough evidence.

Mohit’s lawyers will be moving his bail application before a Ghaziabad court on Tuesday.

First Published: Feb 28, 2017 00:04 IST