N.Zealand ‘runaway millionaire’ arrested in HK
By Staff Reporter
AFP Asian Edition
Sep 30, 2011 03:46 EDT
A New Zealand man who allegedly fled the country after a bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into his account has been arrested in Hong Kong, according to police.
The 30-year-old man is accused of departing for China with his partner in April 2009 after Westpac Bank accidentally placed NZ$10 million ($7.7 million) into his account, police said.
They said he was stopped by a Hong Kong border patrol Thursday trying to enter the territory from China at Lok Ma Chau and subsequently arrested by Interpol officers on an outstanding warrant alleging theft and money laundering.
Police did not name the man but have previously identified him as Hui (Leo) Gao.
He made international headlines in 2009 when he and partner Kara Hurring went on the run after Westpac put NZ$10 million into his business account after he had requested a NZ$100,000 dollar overdraft.
The error was discovered within days but by then some NZ$6.78 million had allegedly been transferred into other accounts and the pair had left New Zealand.
Hurring returned to New Zealand voluntarily in February and will face trial next year on charges of stealing NZ$11,000 and money laundering HK$1.5 million ($192,000) in Macau.
Detective inspector Mark Loper said even after Hurring’s arrest, the focus of the investigation remained on apprehending her partner.
“The arrest in Hong Kong reinforces the determination and tenacity of New Zealand police and our investigation team,” he said.
Loper said the man was due to face a Hong Kong court later Friday. He said the accused could choose to return to New Zealand voluntarily or face extradition proceedings.
Source: AFP Asian Edition