Britain’s ‘most wanted’ woman is due to be repatriated to the UK in the coming days after losing her fight against extradition.
Sarah Panitzke had asked Spanish judges to reject an extradition request from the UK, which would have seen her serve her eight-year prison sentence for a multi-million pound VAT fraud in Spain.
However, judges rejected the appeal and the woman is currently serving her final days in prison near Madrid before starting her prison term in Britain, Mail Online reports.
The 48-year-old will have two months off due to the days she has already spent behind bars in Spain.
Panitzke’s arrest in late February made headlines in the UK and Spain as she became the only woman to appear on the National Crime Agency’s most wanted list.
The Yorkshire-born fraudster had been living for seven years with a fake Italian identity card named Antonietta Argiulo, it was revealed today.
She had been hiding in a three-bed house just outside the small town of Santa Barbara, in the province of Tarragona, south of Barcelona.
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Defense lawyers fought against her extradition to the UK claiming she had close ties to Spain and had lived there since the mid-1990s.
They also said she married a local man 17 years ago, who had a life expectancy of just 10 years due to a liver transplant – meaning he wouldn’t be able to visit her at the UK.
A judicial source said: ‘Sarah’s extradition has not yet taken place but it will take place in a few days.
Panitzke was sentenced to eight years in prison in August 2013 for laundering £1billion in a massive mobile phone VAT fraud after she disappeared during her trial at Kingston Crown Court.