The financial Services Authority carried out a series of dawn raids yesterday, which resulted in eight arrests relating to an alleged insider dealing ring. In a separate move as it intensifies its crackdown on market abuse, the UK watchdog charged two men with insider dealing.
The FSA yesterday arrested eight men aged between 27 and 48, and searched addresses across London and the South-east "in connection with a major ongoing investigation into insider dealing rings". The arrests were carried out by 40 FSA staff, supported by officers from the City of London Police. An FSA spokeswoman said it was the first time it had "gone in with a large number of staff to carry out early morning raids. In the past we have issued summons."
The FSA declined to provide any further information into the investigation, which is ongoing.
This comes on the day that the regulator also charged two men on 17 counts of insider dealing. Matthew Uberoi and Neel Uberoi have been charged in an indictment filed at the City of Westminster's Magistrates' Court. This comes less than a week after a former senior trader from Cazenove appeared in court facing similar charges.
Malcolm Calvert, who last Thursday pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of insider dealing over two years, was remanded on conditional bail after the trial was adjourned until 11 September.
The Uberois face the third criminal case brought by the regulator since it was created in 2000. The FSA has tended to favour civil cases, which are easier to prove although the penalties are less severe.
The first case was launched in January, in which the regulator accused Christopher McQuoid and James William Melbourne of using inside information to profit in the run-up to Motorola's £103m bid for TTP Communications two years ago. Both have pleaded not guilty and the case is ongoing.
The regulator has cracked down hard on alleged market abuse this year, launching a series of cases into insider dealing. This comes after it was accused of being a "light touch" compared with its US counterpart, the Securities and Exchange Commission. Insider dealing carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years under the Financial Services and Markets Act.