The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it has searched two premises of former United Bank of India (UBI) CMD Archana Bhargava in connection with a money laundering investigation. It said the action against the banker, also a former executive director of Canara Bank, was undertaken in Delhi under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and is based on a 2018 FIR filed against her by the CBI for alleged possession of disproportionate assets.
“As per the CBI FIR, she had amassed disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 3.63 crore during the check period when she was occupying senior positions in various public sector banks,” the agency said in a statement.
“The searches were carried out by the ED to trace the proceeds of crime and to unearth the documentary evidence showing acquisition, routing, layering and projection (as legitimate assets) of the said proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 3.63 crore, leading to commission of the offence of money-laundering,” the agency added.
As a result of searches, it said, ED has recovered certain ‘incriminating documents and electronic evidences pertaining to aforesaid further reinforcing the case against Archana Bhargava.’ The ED said this is a second case of money laundering filed against the ex-banker and she was already being probed by it under the criminal sections of PMLA on the basis of a 2016 CBI FIR.
“The FIR pertains to use of Kolkata-based shell companies to layer the proceeds of crime into the accounts of Rank Mercantile Private Limited (RMPL), a company owned by her husband and son,” the ED said.
Bhargava joined the United Bank of India on April 23, 2013 as Chairperson-cum-Managing Director, a position she held till February 20, 2014. She became a Deputy General Manager of Punjab National Bank in 2004 and General Manager in 2008. She worked as Executive Director at Canara Bank from April 1, 20011 to April 22, 2013.