Adriana Barton, 41, from Weymouth, Dorset in the UK, was placed on a Interpol gallery alongside alleged murderers and paedophiles.
The mum-of-two was contacted by worried friends and family when she appeared as one of just three women included in the global appeal for 25 wanted fugitives, according to a report published by The Sun.
The “red notice” accused her of fraud in Costa Rica and was published on Interpol’s website.
Terrified, she locked all her doors and windows before plucking up the courage to “hand herself in” to local police.
Mrs Barton — who has never been in trouble with the law — spent hours at the police station while baffled officers rang law enforcement authorities around the world.
Adriana Barton was named as one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives thanks to a screw up by the National Crime Agency. Picture: SWNS/MegaSource:Mega
Adriana Barton (circled) was horrified when her photo appeared among mugshots of the world’s most depraved criminals. Picture: SWNS/MegaSource:Mega
She was allowed home “until they could get to the bottom of it” but it took the National Crime Agency (NCA) six months to apologise.
The NCA admitted it handed over her passport details and photo to Interpol in Costa Rica in “error” when police asked for info on another criminal suspect.
“I can’t believe they could make such a mistake,” Ms Barton said.
“They were looking for a criminal fraudster, but they issued a picture and name of a housewife in Weymouth. I think it’s outrageous.
“When I looked at the page I was shaking. It was robbers and rapists and murderers — and me.
“Interpol and the NCA are supposed to protect people. It makes you worry about trusting the system.
“You would think before they hand over these details about people they would double, if not triple check.
“It can destroy someone’s life. It makes me so angry to just think about it.”
Adriana Barton: ‘It makes me angry just to think about it.’ Picture: SWNS/MegaSource:Mega
Adriana Barton was forced to wait months for an apology from the National Crime Agency (NCA). Picture: SWNS/MegaSource:Mega
Ms Barton was out power-walking when she received a message from a friend in Ireland asking if she was OK, accompanied by a link to a story on The Sun Online, in July 2017.
The list included a 47-year-old pilot wanted in the United States for allegedly grooming and sexually abusing children and a 43-year-old terrorist wanted for kidnapping and murder.
“In 2014 Mrs Barton’s photo was incorrectly shared with the Costa Rican authorities for intelligence purposes in response to a request made by them,” an NCA spokesman said.
“At no point was the NCA made aware that this intelligence would be made public some time later.
“However, we accept that the photo was shared in error and we have apologised fully to Mrs Barton.
“As discussions are ongoing with her legal representatives it would not be appropriate for us to comment further.”
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.