By Calvin Palmer
In response to a request for an overdraft, a New Zealand bank mistakenly deposited NZ$10 million ($6.1 million) into a couple’s account. They have gone missing and so has some of the money.
The couple from Rotorua, about 150 miles south of Auckland, applied to Westpac bank for a NZ$10,000 ($6,000) overdraft but 1,000 times that amount was paid into their account.
An international hunt for the couple has been launched after they withdrew some of the money and fled the gas station they used to run, Detective Senior Sgt David Harvey said.
Westpac conceded human error was to blame.
Westpac spokesman Craig Dowling said the bank had recovered some of the money but declined to give further details.
It is reported the bank has recovered NZ$4 million.
The bank said in a statement it was “pursuing vigorous criminal and civil action to recover the sum of money stolen.”
Harvey said Interpol has been contacted for help, suggesting the couple may have fled abroad with the cash.
Authorities have not released their identities.
Banking Ombudsman Liz Brown said it is generally considered a criminal offense for people to spend money accidentally deposited into a bank account if they are aware that the cash is not theirs.