Accidental millionaire to be extradited to NZ
An accidental millionaire wanted by authorities in New Zealand for 2 1/2 years has agreed to be returned there.
Leo Gao Hui, 30, left New Zealand with his then-girlfriend Kara Hurring, 32, after Westpac Bank transferred NZ$10 million (HK$57.6 million) instead of NZ$100,000 to Gao's account as a result of a teller's 'keying error'.
Gao had operated a petrol station in New Zealand.
On October 27, according to court records, a magistrate granted an application for his extradition with Gao's consent.
A New Zealand police spokesman said Gao was in custody in Hong Kong and the extradition process was under way. The spokesman said he did not have a time frame for when that process would be completed but would make it public once he knew.
Hong Kong police said a 30-year-old New Zealand man had consented to his surrender to that country and is waiting to be sent back.
Gao and Hurring allegedly transferred NZ$6,782,000 of the money into other accounts, after which they left for Hong Kong on separate dates.
The error was later discovered, and about half the money was recovered from New Zealand accounts, leaving NZ$3,872,000 outstanding.
Gao was arrested at Lok Ma Chau as he entered Hong Kong from the mainland at the end of September. He was held on a warrant relating to New Zealand theft and money-laundering charges.
Hurring was arrested after she went back to New Zealand in December last year. She was charged with 26 counts of theft involving about NZ$11,000, two counts of attempting to use a document, and two counts of international money laundering involving more than HK$1.5 million, linked to activities in Macau.
Hurring, who gave birth to a boy in Hong Kong last year, is to stand trial in February next year.