Public backs runaway millionaires

The public react to the runaway millionaires case and, below, the world's media get in on the act.

The Rotorua couple who have run off with millions of dollars accidentally put in their bank account by Westpac seem to have a level of public support.

Of the more than 4500 people to have voted on an nzherald.co.nz poll by 8am today, 20 per cent said they would also have kept the money if it happened to them.

There is also support on the Your Views pages, with comments such as "stuff the banks!" and "I do not have sympathy for the banks they rip us off anyway" being typical.

However others say they would return the money because it is likely you would be found out eventually.

Others say they would return it but they would hope for some compensation from the bank for their honesty.

The comments came after news broke that a Rotorua service station owner, Leo Gao, applied to Westpac bank for a $10,000 overdraft. Instead, it put $10 million into his account. Now, he and girlfriend Cara Young are the subject of an international manhunt.

Worldwide coverage

The story has made headlines around the world and is among the most popular stories on news websites such as the BBC.

The Guardian in London said in its coverage, referring to a well-known TV advert in the UK: "There used to be a British bank that liked to say "yes" – but a bank in New Zealand has gone a step further in responding to a couple's plea for an overdraft."

The Sydney Morning Herald said the couple "were laughing all the way from the bank".

The story has also been covered by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, the Voice of America and CNN.

Social networking sites such as Twitter are also awash with chatter about the case.

And a Facebook page supporting Leo Gao has been set up.

Your views

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