After the Ringing Bells’ Freedom 251 controversies its now Kochi-based mPhone Electronics and Technologies Pvt. Ltd which planned on launch a range of affordable smartphones in India, but just before the launch the company’s founders have been jailed in an alleged cheating case.
The Kochi company was founded by siblings, named Josekutty Augustine, Rojy John Augustine, and Anto Augustine. The trio planned on making the most of PM Narendra Modi’s Make in India and Digital India initiatives by launching a range of ‘Mango’ or ‘mPhone’ smartphones and accessories.
The imminent launch of the devices was aggressively promoted with full-page ads on leading newspapers. But the launch, scheduled this week, never took place since the company’s founders were arrested from the launch venue in Kochi,Indian Express reports. The police arrested Josekutty and Anto for allegedly cheating Bank of Baroda.
The duo are said to have provided falsified documents of a land worth Rs 11.57 crore to the Kalamaserry branch of Bank of Baroda. The report further states that the Augustine brothers have allegedly used the same modus operandi to dupe other banks, including the State Bank of India. That said, Rojy claims the company are still in the dark about the arrest, and were not aware of a complaint filed by the bank. He says that the company had invested around Rs 3,500 crore to launch the mPhone brand.
Another report by the News Minute claimed an assault case has been filed against the brothers by an unnamed woman who was the company’s alleged former Chief Relationship Manager. She said that after she learnt of the previous cases of fraud, she had announced her resignation from the company, and had subsequently been assaulted severely.
A quick look at the company’s website reveals what the company planned on launching. It would have launched six smartphones priced between Rs 11,999 and Rs 39,999, called the mPhone 5S, mPhone 6, mPhone 7 Plus, mPhone 8, mPhone 9 Plus, and the mPhone 11 Plus. Also listed is a M2 smartwatch with a price tag of Rs 12,999, and a bunch of accessories like Bluetooth headsets, power banks and wireless chargers among others. At the time of filing the story, all the devices are ‘Out of Stock’.