Wellington: Two people who fled New Zealand with millions of dollars obtained through a bank’s mistake were believed to have gone to Hong Kong, police said on Friday.
Interpol was alerted and inquiries were being made in Hong Kong and Beijing, a statement from national police headquarters said.
The Westpac Bank admitted giving a customer an overdraft facility of 10 million New Zealand dollars ($6.1 million) when he had asked for 10,000 New Zealand dollars.
It said he tried to transfer 6.7 million New Zealand dollars out of the country but the bank recovered 2.8 million dollars, leaving it out of pocket by 3.9 million dollars.
Police and the bank did not identify the couple, but news reports named the customer as Leo Gao, who owned an auto service station in Rotorua with a man called Huan Di Zhang.
Gao reportedly was running the struggling station, which is now in receivership, with his girlfriend, Cara or Kara Young.
Although initial reports Thursday identified them as the couple who had disappeared with the money, Detective David Harvey said police would not confirm the identities of anyone involved at this stage of the investigation.
He said officers were working with the family of “one of those individuals who were shocked at their name being associated with the case”.
The whereabouts of Huan Di Zhang, who owned 60 percent of the service station, was unknown, the New Zealand Herald reported.