The UK’s ‘Most Wanted Woman’ is flown back to the UK to serve a prison sentence.
Sarah Panitzke, 48, had asked Spanish judges to reject an extradition request that would have resulted in her serving her prison time in the UK.
She had claimed the right to serve her sentence in Spain given her strong ties to her “adopted country”.
Her lawyers also said her husband, who also lives in Spain, has a life expectancy of just 10 years due to a liver transplant.
They argued that he would not be able to visit her in the UK if she was extradited.
But the judges dismissed the claim and the 48-year-old will soon be flown back to the UK to complete her sentence.
The date for her return has not yet been set.
She had previously evaded arrest by the police for years.
The scammer disappeared in May 2013 while on trial for an elaborate money laundering scam.
Panitzke, originally from Fulford near York, was traced back to a town near Barcelona in 2015.
But she was able to escape in disguise after getting wind of the impending police operation.
In February, the authorities caught up with the fugitive again – this time in the small Spanish town of Santa Barbara in Tarragona.
After weeks of surveillance The 48-year-old was arrested by an elite police team while walking her dogs.
Panitze’s high-profile arrest in February had made headlines in Spain and Britain as she was the only woman on the National Crime Agency’s Most Wanted List.
It was revealed today that before her arrest she had been living with the fake ID of an “Antonietta Argiulo” for seven years.
She had evaded police arrest in a three-bed duplex on the outskirts of the city of Santa Barbara, in the province of Tarragona.
Panitzke had attended York College for Girls before transferring to the fee-paying St. Peter’s School.
She studied Spanish at Manchester Metropolitan University before pursuing a Masters in Business Management in Barcelona.
Following her arrest, Simon York, Director of Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “
“Sarah Panitzke was one of Britain’s most wanted tax evaders.
“She played a crucial role in a multi-million pound VAT fraud, moving millions through offshore bank accounts.
“Panitzke thought she had strayed out of HMRC’s reach, but through our work with UK law enforcement and international partners we have tracked down another tax evader.
‘No tax criminal is beyond our reach.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/07/uks-most-wanted-woman-to-be-extradited-from-spain-over-vat-fraud-16786142/ The UK's most wanted woman is to be extradited from Spain for VAT fraud