Runaway 'overdraft millionaire' arrested in New Zealand
- 25 February 2011
- From the section Asia-Pacific
A New Zealand woman who allegedly fled the country with her boyfriend and millions of dollars has been arrested.
Kara Hurring arrived back in New Zealand on Friday and was charged with theft and money laundering offences.
Westpac Bank had accidentally added a NZ$10m ($7.5m, £4.65m) overdraft facility on to the business account of Hui (Leo) Gao in 2009.
Police say the couple transferred more than half of that into other accounts and then fled to Hong Kong.
They were reported to be on a gambling spree in Macau and southern China last year.
The police said they were working with law enforcement authorities in Hong Kong and mainland China to try to speak with Hui Gao.
Ms Hurring has been released on bail and is due to reappear in court in March.
"While she has returned to New Zealand voluntarily - and she should be commended for having done so - her move has been prompted by police activity," police senior sergeant Mark Loper said.
"Obviously this is an extremely positive development in the case, however, the investigation is by no means over.
"Our focus remains on eventually being able to speak to Leo Gao on this matter."
Mr Gao had initially asked for a NZ$100,000 overdraft to help support his struggling garage.
The couple are reported to have separated soon after they arrived in China.