Couple go missing after bank error makes them millionaires

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.

[Based on reports by the Associated Press and The Guardian.]

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Filed under Crime, Music

2 responses to “Couple go missing after bank error makes them millionaires

  1. AndyP

    I don’t want to cause a stink ol’ boy but I think it’s Rotorua not Rotura. Lots of sulphur in the air from the geysers and mud pools. Rather whiffy. Rotorua is Maori for “two lakes” by the way. It should be for “rotten eggs”!

  2. calvininjax

    You are absolutely right. Good spot. Just goes to show the value of an extra pair of eyes and why sub-editors are so useful.

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