Accidental millionaire's partner held

2011-02-25 12:33

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Wellington - A woman who allegedly fled New Zealand with her Chinese partner after a bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into his account was arrested on Friday, police said.

Kara Hurring and Hui (Leo) Gao left for China shortly after Westpac bank accidentally placed NZ$10m (US$7.5m) into Gao's account in April 2009. Gao had requested a NZ$100 000 overdraft.

The error was discovered within days but by then around NZ$6.78m had allegedly been transferred into other accounts and the pair had left the country.

Police met and arrested 31-year-old Hurring at Auckland airport early on Friday after she voluntarily returned to New Zealand.

"Obviously this is an extremely positive development in the case, however, the investigation is by no means over," said Senior Sergeant Mark Loper, the detective in charge of the police investigation.

"Our focus remains on eventually being able to speak to Leo Gao on this matter."

Police said about half the money had been recovered but around NZ$3 872 000 was still missing and Hurring would face theft and money laundering charges.

Reports last year suggested that Hurring was sheltering in Hong Kong and preparing to return home after splitting from Gao soon after arriving in China's southern Guangdong province.

The Herald on Sunday newspaper said in October that Hurring had been left with little money after the relationship broke down.

New Zealand has no extradition treaty with China.

Hurring was granted bail and is due to appear in Rotorua District Court on March 10.

- SAPA
Read more on:    new zealand
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