One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Birmingham Dating Site Conmen Jailed
A dating website conman from Birmingham who passed himself off as a trainee airline pilot has been jailed for five years.
Jobless Ammar Haider, 28, left three women facing financial ruin by tricking them into handing over £120,000 with lies including a claim that his sick father needed emergency treatment.
West Midlands Police said the married father-of-two invented ``a series of sob stories'' to persuade the women to part with savings, take out loans and even pawn possessions.
Haider, of Augusta Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, took his first victim, from Sheffield, on a holiday to Austria and told her he needed money to pay for his pilot's licence.
Another woman, from Nottingham, fell for lies about his young sister's hopes of getting pioneering surgery in the US for tuberculosis.
The conman also duped an Edinburgh woman - who he met through singlemuslims.com - by claiming he had been arrested in Dubai and needed £45,000 in bail money.
She then transferred almost £30,000 into Haider's bank account but became suspicious after making checks with the Dubai Embassy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
West Midlands Police's Economic Crime Unit investigated Haider's finances and found transactions from other victims who had been bullied into staying silent by Haider.
In interview he admitted knowing all three women but suggested they had willingly handed over money.
After Haider was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday for three counts of fraud, Detective Constable Debra Phillips said: ``The long jail sentence reflects the aggravating features.
``He's left his victims with long-term financial worries that will affect them for many years: one victim is now faced with bankruptcy as a result.
``At the start of the relationship all three had substantial savings and held down well-paid jobs in the financial or marketing sector.
``They were cynically targeted by Haider because of their financial means.
``I hope the women can get their lives back on track and take some comfort that Haider has been jailed for several years and that his life has also been irreparably changed by his deceit.''
Mr Phillips added: ``Haider is a serial liar. He told one woman he was an orphan whose parents had died in a plane crash and always vowed to pay victims back once he graduated as a highly-paid pilot.
``However, we checked the claims with Emirates and he'd never worked for the company in any capacity.''
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