Freedom 251: Averted Scam, CEO Goel ‘Publicity-Hungry’, Says ED

Ringing Bells CEO, Mohit Goel, came up with this project for publicity and quick money, says ED. 

2 min read
Ringing Bells Director Mohit Goel with CEO Dhaarna Goel during the launch event, holding Freedom 251. (Photo: PTI)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), after questioning the Ringing Bells CEO Mohit Goel for hours on 29 February, said that Freedom 251 could have been yet another Ponzi scam. By intiating a probe in time, the agency claims that they have succeeded in safeguarding consumers’ money. The ED recorded hours of Goel’s testimony over 2 days. The probe is on under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) Act.

So far, Ringing Bells has collected Rs 75 lakh online in its escrow account through the CCAvenue payment gateway. Goel has assured the ED that he will refund the money to consumers. The agency has written to CCAvenue asking it not to release funds to Ringing Bells, and has also sought details on how they will transfer the amount to consumers’ bank accounts.

Ringing Bells certainly misled people by quoting price as low as Rs 251. Mohit Goel appears to be a publicity-hungry person who thought that if he comes out with an unusual scheme, he will catch the eyeballs of the people as well of media. 
Senior official, Enforcement Directorate

Was Ringing Bells Plotting Ponzi Scam?

The escrow account is meant to safeguard consumers money. Ringing Bells opened an escrow account with CCAvenue for the ‘Freedom 251’ handsets and a second escrow account with PayU for other handsets costing Rs 4000 and above.

According to the agency, PayU has assured the ED in writing that they will return the money, but CCAvenue is yet to respond. The agency is also probing why Ringing Bells used CCAvenue for the ‘Freedom 251’ payments, and PayU for other handsets.

We have averted yet another Ponzi scam. It appears that they planned to produce fake receipts to CCAvenue showing delivery of phones to withdraw money from escrow account. 
Senior official, Enforcement Directorate

The ED said that in his testimony, Goel had stated he would continue with his ‘Freedom 251’ project. But the agency is keeping a close watch on him, as he has no pragmatic business plan to succeed in his ‘cash on delivery’ module either.

Also read:
Enforcement Directorate Begins Enquiry Against ‘Freedom 251’
Freedom 251: Now Pay Cash on Delivery as Questions Linger On

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