'Runaway millionaire' extradited to New Zealand

2011-12-21 07:42
Hong Kong - A New Zealand man who allegedly fled to China after a bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into his account has been extradited to face trial, officials said on Wednesday.

Leo Gao Hui, 30, who operated a petrol station in New Zealand, had been held in Hong Kong since September 29 after he was arrested by Interpol officers as he tried to enter the southern city from the mainland.

"Pursuant to an order for surrender made by the chief executive, arrangements were made for the return of the man to New Zealand today," Hong Kong police said in a statement.

Gao is wanted on multiple counts of theft and money laundering.

He made international headlines in 2009 when he and partner Kara Hurring went on the run after Westpac bank put NZ$10m into his business account in response to his request for a NZ$100,000 overdraft.

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

Hurring has already voluntarily returned to New Zealand and will face trial next year on charges of stealing NZ$11 000 and laundering HK$1.5m in Macau.

Read more on:    new zealand  |  china

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