Three named in Indian corruption probe, State Bank official implicated

NEW DELHI—India’s top criminal investigation agency named an official of State Bank of India, a former executive at the bank and a businessman in a corruption case for allegedly colluding to profit from a large bank loan.

The latest case underscores concerns among foreign companies doing business in India about corruption in government and private enterprises in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Shyamal Acharya, deputy managing director and executive for SBI’s midcorporate group; K.K. Kumarah, a former official with the bank; and Piyoosh Goyal, founder of Worlds Window Group, have been accused of criminal conspiracy, a Central Bureau of Investigation representative told The Wall Street Journal.

Other charges include bribery to influence a public servant and bribery to perform an official act, the representative said.

Messrs. Acharya and Kumarah couldn’t be reached to comment, while Mr. Goyal and Worlds Window Group didn’t respond to requests for comment.

SBI confirmed that Mr. Acharya was under investigation. “Mr. Acharya has been asked to proceed on leave,” it said, adding that the bank was cooperating with the Central Bureau of Investigation and had initiated its own internal investigation.

The Central Bureau of Investigation alleges that Mr. Kumarah arranged for a 750-million-rupee ($12 million) loan for Worlds Window Group from SBI, using his influence as a former employee after the company had applied for a 4-billion-rupee loan.

Messrs. Kumarah and Acharya are accused of accepting bribes worth 2.5 million rupees and 1.5 million rupees, respectively, the Central Bureau of Investigation representative said.

“Mr. Kumarah has been produced in a court and is in police custody until Nov. 27,” the CBI representative said.

If found guilty, the three could face jail terms of six months to five years, and the terms could include financial penalties.

Source – WSJOnline


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