SEC alleges Bangkok trader made $3.2M profit from insider trading in Smithfield takeover

BANGKOK – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says a Thai plastics company employee made profits of $3.2 million by trading on inside knowledge that a takeover offer for Smithfield Foods was imminent.

A U.S. court has frozen the American brokerage account of 30-year-old Badin Rungruangnavarat so the trading profits can’t be transferred overseas.

U.S. pork producer Smithfield announced a $4.7 billion takeover by Chinese meat company Shuanghui in late May.

The SEC alleges in a court filing this week that Rungruangnavarat cornered the market in Smithfield options and futures in the days before the takeover as well as buying Smithfield stock.

It says a Thai conglomerate was also considering a bid for Smithfield and Rungruangnavarat had links to its investment bank.

The bank had access to a data room that Smithfield established for potential buyers.