NBCS helps close the loop on one of Britain’s most prolific retail fraudsters

Just days before her sentencing for hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of retail fraud over many years, the Police officer who finally brought Narinder (Nina) Kaur (aka Nina Tiara) to justice told delegates at the NBCS 2023 conference, which took place on Thursday, November 16, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, how collaborating with the UK’s largest member-led business crime data and intelligence sharing organisation finally brought her crime spree to an end.

Stephen Tristram, the officer in charge of the case from West Mercia’s economic crime unit was on the stage last week with the NBCS police liaison officer (PLO) Nick Tongue to outline how shared intelligence finally de-throned the audacious queen of socially engineered till scams whose modus operandi included industrial levels of refund fraud across the UK, a campaign that netted her more than £500,000 to help fund her lavish lifestyle.

Kaur was finally found unanimously guilty of multiple counts of fraud, money laundering and perverting the course of justice by a jury at Gloucester Crown Court earlier this year after a four-month trial which followed a sustained investigation between West Mercia Police and the NBCS. But the road to conviction has been long and circuitous including her being mistakenly released from jail on one occasion.

Finally remanded in custody pending sentencing, Kaur has long protested her innocence and that everything that was refunded to her was legitimate, despite evidence of her using multiple identities and fake passports during her long career. She is due to be sentenced on 27th November.

“The investigation and evidence provided by NBCS members who were her victims highlight a litany of crime during her audacious campaign which included taking advantage of till operating loopholes at stores, travelling nationwide to commit offences and providing false stories and identities to cover her tracks over at least four years where she had managed to evade prosecution,” said Sarah Bird, the general manager of NBCS.

“Working with West Mercia Police, the NBCS has been central to finally closing the chapter of Nina’s long career of criminality, although it remains to seen what kind of sentence she serves.

“We were delighted to have Stephen at the conference to take members through what was a complex and long-drawn-out game of cat and mouse with one of Britain’s most notorious fraudsters,” she added.

The organised nature of Kaur/Tiara’s offending involved the facilitation of fraud through the creation of false identities by obtaining a fake passport to open bank accounts in other names. Police found other passport applications in her home, evidence that they were for the preparation of other fake identities for obtaining further criminal advantage.

The NBCS has been aware of Kaur’s criminal behaviour since 2017 when members across multiple retail sectors brought her nefarious activities to the organisation’s attention, although her offending is first chronicled as early as 2015.

She had previously been arrested with the help of the data intelligence that was fed into the NBCS network but she managed to evade justice in 2018, even after bring served with an exclusion order which banned her from entering stores that she had targeted.

It was in 2019 that the Tiara finally slipped when West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit was dealing with a fraud incident in Hereford which coincidentally, also involving a person of interest called named Nina. After further investigation with the NBCS both parties realised that they were dealing with one-in-the-same, and a meeting was orchestrated with some of the targeted retailers to present the intelligence gathered.

Due to her massive number of offences, it took 19 months to prepare the files for CPS and during the development of this case, she continued to offend despite Police bail conditions.

Finally, in 2021 Nina was remanded to prison when she offended in a store who knew her well and immediately reported her actions. The next day, she went back to the very same store and tried to intimidate store staff by handing them letters declaring her innocence; as they were witnesses to her offending, she was then charged with theft and witness intimidation.

Then in January 2022 she was mistakenly released from prison in a judgemental error and remained out until her trial in November 2022 at Gloucester Crown Court. Ultimately, in March 2023 her trial concluded after a unanimous verdict by the jury of all 27 offences.

Apart from £500,000 worth of refunds and store thefts, Police seized over £180,000 of cash from her home. Alongside her Mercedes car, her five-bedroom home in Chippenham and another property in Wolverhampton, it was clear Nina’s offences had been funding her lavish lifestyle.

Nina’s countless offences, lack of empathy and disregard for law enforcement and her injunctions, had made her story the subject of multiple news stories. She was widely covered by the media including Sky and BBC News, the Daily Mail and the Jeremy Vine and local newspapers to where she lives in Wiltshire.

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