HONG KONG - A New Zealander who went on the run when a bank mistakenly gave him a multimillion-dollar line of credit in 2009 has been arrested in Hong Kong, police said Friday.
Police stopped Hui “Leo” Gao when tried to cross into Hong Kong from mainland China. He appeared in court Friday and was ordered detained until Nov. 28 for possible extradition hearings, though he will be given an opportunity to return voluntarily to New Zealand, police said. He is wanted there on theft and money laundering charges.
Gao and his then-partner Kara Hurring disappeared in 2009, two days after they received a 10 million New Zealand dollar ($7.6 million) credit line - 100 times their approved limit.
New Zealand police said NZ$6.78 million was transferred out of the man's account, but that the bank recovered nearly half. They had said earlier they were working with Chinese authorities to track him down.
The pair, who had run a gas station in the scenic tourist destination of Rotorua, were dubbed “The Accidental Millionaires” when they disappeared.
Hurring has since returned to New Zealand voluntarily to face theft charges. Her lawyer said she denied any involvement. She is due to stand trial in February, New Zealand police said.