Britain’s most wished girl has been captured and thrown in a Spanish jail after almost a decade on the run.
Sarah Panitzke, 47, had been a fugitive since she was convicted in 2013 of laundering as much as $1.3B for a VAT fraud group.
Panitzke was included on the listing of Britain’s most wished fugitives after absconding in Might 2013 earlier than the tip of her trial as a senior member of against the law group concerned in VAT fraud.
The privately-educated fraudster was sentenced in her absence to eight years behind bars in August 2013.
She was stated to have “disappeared into skinny air” after changing into the one girl on the Nationwide Crime Company’s Most Needed Listing.
Brit holidaymakers had been requested to assist catch the convicted scammer from Fulford close to York in a latest attraction for info on the whereabouts of fugitive killers, intercourse attackers and drug traffickers.
Final night time she was stated to be languishing in a jail close to Madrid forward of her anticipated extradition again to the UK.
Sources stated she had been held on Sunday as she walked her canine close to her house in Catalonia.
The arrest was carried out by the Civil Guard Central Operative Unit’s Fugitive Process Power.
One insider stated: “Panitze was out strolling her canine when she was arrested.”
Preliminary studies stated the girl had been held within the city of Vilanova i la Geltru in Catalonia, though police are anticipated to verify later that she was arrested in a village within the Catalan province of Tarragona.
Based on El Confidencial, which broke the information of Sunday’s arrest on Monday, she was preventing her compelled return to the UK.
Two UK customs officers requested to attend her extradition listening to the outlet reported.
There has not but been any official remark from the Civil Guard.
The Madrid-based decide who ordered her remand in jail whereas she fights her compelled return to the UK has been named Joaquin Gadea.
Stay of priveledge
Panitzke, who went to York School for Ladies earlier than transferring on to prestigious St Peter’s Faculty, got here from a rich household.
Her dad Leo was a residential property developer and insurance coverage dealer however was arrested when she was 19 for getting council homes and promoting them early for a big revenue and was subsequently sentenced to 4 years in jail.
She studied Spanish at Manchester Metropolitan College earlier than doing a grasp’s diploma in Barcelona in Enterprise Administration.
Sarah was recruited into infamous tax felony Geoffrey Johnson’s net of 18 fraudsters situated all through the UK after assembly an acquaintance.
Panitzke was a part of a gaggle of firms that purchased low cost cell phones in abroad international locations with out VAT, then bought them within the UK for an enormous revenue.
Operation Vaulter, the codename given to HMRC’s investigation into the fraud gang, led to a trial at Kingston Crown Courtroom.
Sarah was handed an eight-year sentence after pleading not responsible. The gang’s 18 members acquired sentences totaling 135 years.
She disappeared earlier than the trial had completed.
On the time she was stated to have been dwelling within the coastal city with two canine and a long-term accomplice and doing “entrance jobs” as a resort employee and property investor.
Current studies stated she would face 17 years’ incarceration if caught as a result of her non-payment of a £2.4million confiscation order meant additional time had been added to her jail sentence.
Her brother Leon advised Vice journal final yr: “The entire saga had been extremely tough for everybody concerned.”
Police described her of their wished attraction as: “170cm tall, slim construct with mousey straight hair, blue eyes and a Yorkshire accent.”
The NCA had stated in an earlier attraction: “She managed the corporate accounts of many firms remotely by way of totally different IP addresses.
“Panitzke traveled extensively to additional the fraud to locations together with Dubai, Spain and Andorra. She was accountable for laundering roughly one billion kilos.”
This text initially appeared on The Sun and was reproduced right here with permission.