UK: Indian-origin woman takes up shoplifting as ‘full-time job’

London: An Indian-origin woman has been convicted in UK for allegedly making £500,000 by claiming refunds on items she shoplifted for several years, agencies reported.

Between July 2015 and February 2019, Narinder Kaur, also known as Nina Tiara, travelled throughout the UK and committed over a thousand shopping frauds.

In addition to stolen goods, about £150,000 in cash was discovered during two police searches of her residence.

Kaur, 53, a resident of Cleverton, Wiltshire, targeted numerous Boots, Monsoon, House of Fraser, and Homesense locations.

She received £42,853 in refunds from Debenhams alone despite only spending £3,681 over a four-year span.

In Milton Keynes, Watford, Chester, Cardiff, Chichester, Basingstoke, Nottingham, Newbury, Exeter, Southampton, Reading, Birmingham, Tamworth, and Leicester, she received reimbursements totaling £33,131.

That was despite only spending £5,290 during the period from August 2015 to December 2018.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Kaur made shoplifting her “full-time profession” and had “very many” bank and credit card accounts.

She also tried to steal £7,400 from Wiltshire Council by paying more than she should have using stolen credit cards, then contacting the local government to request a refund while saying she had made a mistaken payment with too many zeros.

She additionally collaborated with a man accomplice to pay her heating oil supplier using stolen bank card information.

Four months were spent on her prosecution at Gloucester Crown Court.

She was found guilty on each of the 26 charges in an indictment, including perverting the course of justice, possessing and transferring criminal property, and fraud.

The CPS claimed that it was able to “prove the case” by using financial data, store records, witness testimony, and CCTV that “proved Kaur’s pattern of offending” while collaborating closely with the police.

“Close investigation of her accounts verified the pattern of purchases and refunds,” the statement continued, “and revealed that the same process seen on the CCTV was repeated hundreds of times.”

Kaur “undertook fraud on a long-standing and wide-ranging way,” according to Giovanni D’Alessandro of the CPS. He also noted that it was a very lucrative full-time job that clearly earned her more than half a million pounds during the offending period.

She travelled across the nation to carry out her frauds, going to extraordinary measures to find a way to defraud a retailer.

In order to escape being discovered, “she also legally changed her name and opened new bank accounts and credit cards under a second identity.”

Kaur is yet to receive her punishment.

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