Sarah Panitzke, the UK’s most sought woman, has been apprehended in Spain

Sarah Panitzke

On Sunday, Sarah Panitzke was detained while walking her dogs in Santa Barbara, Tarragona.

After approximately a decade on the run, a cheater dubbed the UK's most hunted woman was apprehended in Spain.

Sarah Panitzke, 47, vanished in May 2013 while on trial for her role in the £1 billion mobile phone tax scheme.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) says she was arrested while walking her dogs in Santa Barbara, Tarragona, Sunday.

Panitzke, born in Fulford, York, was imprisoned and penalized to eight years in prison for her absenteeism.

HM Revenue and Customs' Simon York claimed Panitzke was a "key figure" in the scheme, moving millions of dollars through offshore accounts.

Since her disappearance, she has been the focus of several "most wanted" campaigns to locate fugitives.

According to the Spanish Guardia Civil, she was tracked down to a town near Barcelona in 2015, but she got aware of the police's attempt to apprehend her and disguised herself, allowing her to flee.

She was chased down to the little hamlet of Santa Barbara last month and placed under observation until she was apprehended.

According to the NCA, repatriation processes to bring her back to the UK have begun.

Sarah Panitzke has been absconding for almost nine years, said Tom Dowdall, the agency's international deputy director. She may have assumed we had stopped looking because of the time, but she was still on our radar.

She was captured due to collaboration between UK law enforcement and our Spanish allies, and we will now seek her extradition to the UK to serve her prison sentence.

This should be a warning to anyone on our most-wanted list: no matter how long it takes, we will not stop until you are apprehended.

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