Britain's 'most wanted woman' Sarah Panitzke loses bid to stay in Spain

Sarah Panitzke arrested in Spain
Sarah Panitzke was arrested in February. Credit: National Crime Agency

A fraudster dubbed 'Britain's most wanted woman' will be extradited to the UK after losing her bid to stay in Spain.

Sarah Panitzke, from York, had been on the run for nine years after being convicted in 2013 of money laundering.

The 48-year-old was part of an organised crime group responsible for laundering around £1billion from a mobile phone VAT fraud.

She was detained as she walked her dogs in Santa Barbara, Tarragona, in February.

Sarah Panitzke's arrest Credit: NCA

Lawyers acting for Panitzke, who is from Fulford, pleaded with Spanish judges to reject a UK extradition application and allow her to serve an eight-year prison sentence in Spain.

They argued she should be allowed to remain in the country given her strong links to her "adopted homeland".

But judges ruled against her, meaning she will now be returned to the UK and is expected to be back within days.

Panitzke was the only member of an 18-strong gang still on the run after laundering money through companies in Spain, Andorra and Dubai for a crime group that bought mobile phones abroad without VAT and resold them in the UK.

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