Noida entrepreneur Mohit Goel, who has earned international acclaim for offering the world’s cheapest smartphone for Rs 251, has now been arrested on charges of defrauding Rs 200 crore to dry fruit traders across the country. Goyal’s name has cropped up in several cases of fraud and extortion as his company failed to give smartphones to customers who booked ‘Freedom 251’ in Ringing Bells 2017. This time, Goyal and five others are accused of cheating Dry Fruit’s score. Traders from several states through his company, Dubai Dry Fruits and Spices Hub.
Police said that Goyal and his associates would buy dried fruits and spices by offering slightly higher prices from wholesalers, but then they would not pay them in full. The Noida police said that while expanding their gang, those goods were sold in the open market in Delhi-NCR, but they did not pay them in full from the people from whom they had purchased the stock.
According to the police, they will place orders for dry fruits across the country and pay 40 per cent for the remaining amount using net banking and issue bank checks for the remaining amount. He started one in Sector 63 in Noida in 2019 before starting Dubai Dry Fruits. His modus operandi was that the company was to be shut down which they were running later. A police officer said that a good number of people were cheated and then started another firm.
Noida police said that at least 40 written complaints of fraud against the company were filed by traders in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and some other states of the country. An FIR was first filed against the company in December last year when a businessman from the city filed a complaint. The Dubai Dry Fruits and Spices Hub was being operated outside a premier office complex in Sector 62, for which the company was paying Rs 3 lakh per month, with police saying that the company had hired three foreigners who were on the front Was handling office.
In 2017, Goyal was arrested by the Ghaziabad police in an alleged payment dispute involving the distributorship of a flagship scam – a Freedom 251 smartphone based on a complaint filed by a businessman. In his FIR, the complainant had stated that he was one of the distributors of the company who failed to return Rs 16 lakh after failing to deliver the promised smartphone and accessories.
In 2018, he was arrested in Alwar district of Rajasthan on charges of trying to extort money from a businessman to “settle a gang-rape case” filed against five men. According to the news, the woman, along with others, was escorted to the businessman’s office to receive a settlement amount of Rs 5 crore.