Monetary Authority of Singapore
Monetary Authority of Singapore Reuters

Singapore convicted three people for "front-running" under insider trading laws on Wednesday, the central bank said, in the first case of its kind in the city-state.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said Leong Chee Wai, E Seck Peng Simon and Toh Chew Leong were convicted and sentenced to 36 months, 30 months and 20 months in prison.

"This is the first case of front-running prosecuted as an insider trading offense in Singapore, which carries a more severe penalty," the MAS said in a statement.

Front-running is the practise of trading on securities using advanced knowledge of pending orders to wrongfully benefit financially.

The three were charged with a total of 333 counts of insider trading offences that made them total profits of S$8 million ($5.88 million) over a seven year period. Their crimes date back to 2007.

It is rare for insider trading to result in prison sentences and cases often drag on for years.

The three were not available for comment.