Gangster makes spectacular escape from French jail in helicopter

Redoine Faid

Later, the helicopter was found dumped in a suburb after the criminals burned it just northeast of Paris.

This time he flew out of the prison in Reu, about 25 miles southeast of Paris in a helicopter.

A union representative at Reau told BFM television that "two men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and police armbands" entered the prison to look for Faid and used a grinding machine to cut open the door that directly leads to the visiting room. He was serving prison for a time duration of 25-years for a failed robbery in which a police officer was killed.

Faid, 46, was reportedly assisted by at least three armed accomplices who picked him up by helicopter from the Reau prison courtyard, in the southeatern suburbs of Paris, Le Parisien newspaper reported.

Redoine Faid, France's notorious gangster dramatically flew away from a prison after his associates hitched him a ride in a hijacked helicopter.

The brochure included no mention of a courtyard - large enough for a light utility helicopter such as, say, an Aerospatiale Alouette II - that would, notably, be the only part of the prison not covered by "anti-helicopter netting", according to the Associated Press.

In 2013, Faid blasted his way out of prison with explosives concealed in tissue packs. They had earlier taken a helicopter instructor hostage while he was waiting for a student, and ordered him to go to the prison.

The helicopter was later found in a north-eastern suburb of the French capital, they said, adding that a police search has been launched across the entire Paris region.

After the helicopter that flew Faid out of jail was set on fire, its occupants fled by vehicle in a black Renault Megane which they later dumped in the underground auto park of a shopping centre near the airport. Investigators were questioning Faid's brother on Sunday afternoon.

He said his life of crime was inspired by American films such as Scarface and Heat. He was on the run for 6 weeks before he was recaptured in a hotel room.

Faid was freed in 2009 after serving 10 years in prison. In 2001, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for armed robbery.

The same year that the book came out, the Telegraph wrote, Faid was suspected of masterminding a botched armed robbery, in which a police officer was killed in a shootout.

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