Two arrested in major insider trading probe

Two people have been arrested for insider trading following an order from prosecutors. Both the accused were arrested on suspicion of "serious insider trading concerning very large amounts."

The suspected crimes are believed by prosecutors to have been committed over a period of around two years and to have taken place on finance markets around the world. The Swedish National Economics Crime Bureau (Ekobrottsmyndigheten – EBM), said it suspects that the pair has generated “many millions” of kronor through the activity.

One of the two suspects is alleged to have made around 50 million kronor ($7.3 million) over the past two years, according to prosecutor Robert Engstedt.

Investment firm Cevian Capital, jointly led by high-profile financier Christer Gardell said on Monday that a member of its staff was one of those arrested.

“We are extremely upset that an employee of Cevian Capital AB could have been involved in illegal activity,” wrote Gardell and fellow managing partner Lars Förberg in a statement released on Monday afternoon.

“Cevian Capital is not the subject of any criminal investigation and we currently have no detailed information about the suspected criminal activity,” added Förberg.

Engstedt said that the suspected offences were “one of the biggest cases of insider trading that we have seen to date.”

It was possible to detect the suspected crimes due to changes made to Swedish law in 2005.

“The changes meant that we have been receiving larger numbers of reports to examine, and in trading we have seen patterns among certain parties,” Engstedt said.

Further arrests are expected in the investigation. He said that suspicions were raised because the people now under arrest had “bought at exactly the right moment. Every deal makes enormous profits,” he said.

The EBM investigation is being carried out in partnership with foreign agencies. The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) has provided information to investigators.