Story contributed by Jonathan Leach, an associate producer at 48 Hours Mystery
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
(CBS) Westpac is one of New Zealand's largest banks with more than one million customers. Its motto? "Making the most of life." And it certainly did for a couple who applied for a bank loan of NZ $10,000 (US $6,000) to finance their service-station in the resort town of Rotunda but instead received 1,000 times the desired amount – US $6 Million.
Westpac spokesman Craig Dowling said the huge deposit appeared to be the result of human error and that the bank had recovered some of the money but declined to give details about the case. The bank said in a statement it was "pursuing vigorous criminal and civil action to recover the sum of money stolen," but declined further comment.
Although police have not identified the couple publicly, local media has reported them as Leo Gao and his Australian girlfriend Cara Young, adding that they are believed to have fled the country. Interpol is now on hot pursuit for these accidental millionaires.
As for their suspected whereabouts – Vegas would be a good place to start.