Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started a probe into the finances of Ringing Bells, makers of the world’s cheapest smartphone Freedom 251, as questions continue to be raised on the feasibility of offering a handset at Rs 251. Sources said ED is looking into financial details and bank accounts of the company and its promoters. No summons or notices have been sent as of now to the company or its promoters, they said.
The Noida-based phone-maker has also come under the scanner of the I-T department which is looking into its financial structure and has obtained documents, including those from the Registrar of Companies (RoC), in this regard.Industry members have also complained against the company to the telecom ministry to dig deeper into the issue.
The ministry has sought a clarification from Ringing Bells for marketing Freedom 251 without a BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification and also asked Uttar Pradesh government to check the firm’s credentials.
The company said it has received around 6 crore registrations for the phone.
The company plans to give 25 lakh handsets in the first phase before June 30. Ringing Bells has been facing an FIR and defamation suit amid serious questions being raised over the world’s cheapest smartphone. The Noida-based startup claims to have tied up with the payment gateway provider PayUbiz so that it receives payment only on the submission of proof of delivery (POD) to the payment gateway.