Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Commandos in hijacked helicopter spring notorious criminal from French prison

Commandos in hijacked helicopter spring notorious criminal from French prison

France's Justice Ministry said 46-year-old Redoine Faid's escape only took "a few minutes" and no one was injured or taken hostage at Reau Prison, located in the southeastern suburbs of Paris.

Redoine Faïd was being held in solitary confinement in Réau prison when the three men burst in on Sunday morning and extracted him, later dumping the helicopter and setting it alight before escaping in a auto, media reports said.

Redoine Faid was serving a long-term sentence at a prison south of Paris for armed robbery and the murder of a policewoman in 2010 after a heist that went wrong.

Investigators transport an Alouette II helicopter allegedly abandoned by French prisoner Redoine Faid and suspected accomplices after his escape from the prison of Reau, in Gonesse, north of Paris, France, July 1, 2018.

A notorious French gangster just pulled off a blockbuster-like jailbreak by escaping prison via helicopter. He used explosives to escape from a different prison in 2013.

He was captured on May 29, 2013 when authorities found him hiding out at a hotel in Pontault-Combault, east of Paris.

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According to the sources, three armed gunmen arrived at the entrance of the prison demanding Faid's release to create a diversion.

They tried to burn it out to destroy the evidence, but it was found quickly by the police and put out.

Faid grew up in the French capital's tough immigrant suburbs.

Delabroye, the prison union rep, said the yard where the helicopter landed is the only area not equipped with anti-aircraft netting because inmates never use it - "except to leave the prison". The 46-year-old is believed to have fled in a vehicle with the armed accomplices.

That same year, he wrote a book describing growing up in Paris's notoriously crime-ridden suburbs and starting his life of delinquency.

He spent years as an worldwide fugitive before his capture, and then a decade in prison, and then wrote an autobiography after his release on parole in 2009. He is said to be devoted to Robert De Niro movies and the stylised crime thrillers of United States director Michael Mann. In 2001, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for armed robbery. One of Faid's most recent prison supervisors said he was never in conflict with guards, but that "we must always be wary".

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