The Australian Federal Police arrested the two men for offences relating to insider trading, money laundering, corruption and abuse of public office. The insider trading, alleged to have occurred between August 2013 and May 2014, resulted in profits of approximately AU$7 million (roughly US$6.5 million or £2.9 million).
The men have been identified as 26-year old Lukas Kamay, an associate director at Australian bank NAB, and 24-year old Christopher Hill, who was employed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
According to Fairfax media reports, the two met during their time at Monash University in Melbourne. The connection was discovered by foreign exchange broker Owen Kerr, founder and owner of Pepperstone Financial, who told Fairfax he had noticed Kamay was making significant bets on the Australian dollar minutes before the announcement of major economic news. Kerr then looked up Kamay's profile on LinkedIn and realised the ABS connection.
"That was when it suddenly clicked that this guy was only trading ABS data and had a man on the inside," said Kerr.
According to AFP acting national manager crime operations Ian McCartney, the arrests were the result of a "serious and complex" investigation.
"Investigations like this send a clear message to anyone who is thinking of engaging in this type of criminal activity -- we have the ability to monitor you and take action," he said.