India is investigating the payment of kickbacks linked to the purchase of a dozen helicopters from Italian state-controlled defense group Finmeccanica and could put off the deal, an Indian Defense Ministry official said.

The official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the information, said 40 million rupee ($744,000) kickbacks were under investigation by Indian law enforcement agencies.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel, editing by Ross Colvin)