| 6.7°C Dublin

$10m bank error man who fled with the money is arrested

A MAN who fled after a bank in New Zealand accidently deposited $10 million in his account in 2009 has been arrested in Hong Kong.

The 30-year-old man was stopped by Hong Kong border patrol as he was crossing into Hong Kong from China and arrested by Interpol on a warrant relating to New Zealand theft and money laundering charges.

He was due to appear in a Hong Kong today.

The man arrested has not been named. However, Hui "Leo" Gao was sought by police after leaving the country with his then girlfriend in 2009.

A 32-year-old woman, Kara Hurring, was arrested on related charges when she re-entered New Zealand earlier this year. She is due to stand trial in February 2012.

The latest arrest comes following a two and a half year police operation into the theft, which allegedly occurred after a $10 million overdraft facility was mistakenly loaded into the man's business account at Westpac bank in April 2009.

It is alleged that the man transferred $6,782,000 of the money into other accounts, and then the couple both left New Zealand for Hong Kong.

The error was not discovered until May 5, when approximately half the money recovered from New Zealand accounts, leaving $3,872,000 unrecovered.

The 36-month investigation has involved police from around New Zealand, and in China and Hong Kong.

"There has been a significant amount of work underway behind the scenes - but for obvious reasons we haven't been in a position to discuss it,'' said detective inspector Mark Loper.

It is not yet known whether the man will need to be extradited as he will be given the opportunity to return to New Zealand voluntarily.