Notorious French gangster, Redoine Faid, escaped jail for the second time after two armed accomplices landed helicopter in Paris prison courtyard before flying him to a waiting car
Faid, 46, once France’s most wanted man broke out of the prison in Reau in the southeastern suburbs of the French capital, Paris on Sunday
He broke out of the penitentiary with the help of the two accomplices in minutes who used smoke bombs and angle grinders to overcome wardens in the prison
Faid went on the lam after an appeals court in April sentenced him to 25 years for masterminding a botched 2010 armed robbery in which a policewoman was killed
It is the second time Faid has escaped jail after previously blowing his way out with dynamite five years ago, only to be recaptured six weeks later
His accomplices hijacked the helicopter from a terrified flight instructor and landed at around 11.15am in the prison yard, 10 minutes later they had vanished with Faid on board
A notorious gangster who said his life of crime was inspired by films like ‘Scarface’ pulled off a brazen jailbreak on Sunday, fleeing a prison near Paris aboard a hijacked helicopter.
Redoine Faid, 46, who was once France’s most wanted man broke out of the penitentiary in Reau in the capital’s southeastern suburbs, with the help of two accomplices in a matter of minutes.
After hijacking a helicopter from a terrified flight instructor, the two accomplices landed at around 11.15am in the prison yard.
They used smoke bombs and angle grinders to overcome wardens in the facility’s visiting room where Faid was talking to a brother. The men quickly made good their escape in the helicopter in an operation lasting just 10 minutes, according to prison unionist Martial Delabroye.
It’s the second time Faid has pulled off a spectacular jailbreak. In 2013, he blasted his way out of a prison in northern France using dynamite.
He was recaptured six weeks later.
Armed police stand guard as investigators transport abandoned Alouette II helicopter allegedly used in the brazen prison break by French prisoner Redoine Faid on July 1, 2018
The intermediate getaway vehicle, a black car was abandoned by Faid and his men at O’Parinor shopping mall parking after his escape on Sunday
The International wanted person notice for French robber Redoine Faid after he literally blasted his way out of jail in 2013
Informed sources earlier said there were three accomplices. But two men reported by witnesses as ‘dressed in black and hooded’ while wearing police armbands, armed with assault rifles set off smoke bombs before breaking their way into the prison’s visitation room using the power tools.
The wardens, who were unarmed, fled to safety and raised the alarm.
The accomplices went into the visitation room, reportedly armed with Kalashnikov rifles, and demanded Faid’s release, BFM-TV reported. They managed to whisk him away in a helicopter and landed about 40 miles away, but switching to cars for the next phase of their escape.
Investigators transport an Alouette II helicopter allegedly abandoned by jailed French robber Redoine Faid after he used it to escape from the prison of Reau on July
The men apparently went on to use a car that was later found torched in a shopping mall carpark, police said.
The Ministry of the Interior said a huge police response has been ordered in an attempt to catch the fugitive, who has been described as dangerous.
‘Everything is being done to locate the fugitive,’ an official said.
The escape came after an appeals court in April sentenced Faid to 25 years for masterminding a botched armed robbery in 2010 in which a policewoman was killed.
Faid has been behind bars since mid-2011 for violating the terms of his parole over previous convictions for bank robberies and heists of bullion vans.
Redoine Faid [photo] has been in jail since 2011 for violating the terms of his parole on previous convictions for bank robberies and heists of bullion vans.
The escape helicopter [photo]. The men reportedly, were ‘dressed in black and hooded’ while wearing police armbands.
In his 2013 jailbreak, Faid briefly took four guards hostage with a pistol before escaping in a waiting getaway car. All the hostages were released unharmed.
Faid was recaptured six weeks later at a hotel in an industrial area on the outskirts of Paris.
A woman working at the hotel told AFP at the time that Faid’s accomplice had paid for the room in cash and that the two men had been there for several days.
Faid had earlier been released from a 10-year stint behind bars after convincing parole officers that he regretted his criminal past and was determined to start afresh.
Police nicknamed him ‘The Author’ for two books he co-wrote about his delinquent youth.
Parisien authorities say the fugitives were picked up in a black Renault car before switching to a white van after landing the helicopter
It is the second time Faid has pulled off a spectacular jailbreak. – In 2013, he blasted his way out of jail [photo] using dynamite before being recaptured six weeks later
Faid, who has a cult following in the tough immigrant suburbs outside Paris where he grew up, has made several television appearances.
At a Paris film festival in April 2009, Faid approached Michael Mann, director of the 1995 gangster film ‘Heat’ starring Al Pacino and Robert Niro, telling him: ‘You were my technical adviser.’
He wrote that he had watched the film dozens of times to perfect his bank-robbing prowess.
One of his prison supervisors said that Faid had never had any conflict with staff, ‘but we must always be wary’.
‘In the corner of his mind, he never lost the idea of escaping. Behind all his manners – he is very polite – he always hid his game,’ the supervisor said.
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’.