FSA: Biggest-ever insider-trading raid
The Financial Services Authority has just put out the most tantalising statement about raids it has conducted this morning on 16 addresses in London, Oxfordshire and the south-east of England.
It describes these raids as its "largest-ever operation against insider dealing". And it has certainly put its resources where its mouth is: it has deployed 143 of its own investigators in the swoop and has collaborated with the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
So, first things first: if you noticed a troop of heavy-booted policeman carrying computers and files out of your premises this morning, do let me know (please forgive my blatant solicitation).
The FSA says that six men, including "two senior City professionals at leading city institutions and one City professional at a hedge fund" have been arrested. They are suspected of involvement in "a sophisticated and long-running insider-dealing ring".
The watchdog adds that it believes these City professionals passed inside information to traders who "traded based on this information and made significant profits as a result".
What's the significance of all this?
Well, there can no longer be any doubt that the FSA is serious about cracking down on City crime, especially illicit trading in shares and securities when in possession of privileged insider knowledge.
The FSA massively increased the resources it deploys on surveillance and enforcement three years ago - including installing a powerful computer system, Sabre, which analyses trading data and identifies patterns of possible illegal dealing.
That investment in policing now appears to be paying off in a stream of investigations and prosecutions. Leading City firms will be hoping that they don't have too many bad apples within their ranks.
Update 1707: I understand that the hedge fund raided by the FSA and SOCA this morning was Moore Capital.