Redoine Faid uses helicopter getaway in French prison escape

Inmate films French gangster Redoine Faid escaping in helicopter - Daily Mail

French robber Redoine Faid broke free from a jail south of Paris using a helicopter on Sunday, sparking a massive manhunt around the French capital.

"This was a spectacular escape. It was certainly a very well-prepared [prison break]", French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said during a news conference Sunday outside the prison.

Faid, who has said he was inspired by USA films such as "Scarface" and "Heat", was serving 25 years in Reau prison for his part in a botched robbery of a cash-transport van near Paris in 2010, which he masterminded and in which a 26-year-old policewoman was killed.

Faid was sentenced to 25 years for his role as the suspected mastermind of an attempted armed robbery that led to the 2010 death of 26-year-old policewoman Aurelie Fouquet, who was killed in a shootout, according to the Associated Press.

When the chopper arrived, Faid was meeting with his brother in the visiting room.

Three armed and well-trained men then reportedly presented themselves and demanded Faid's release.

Faid deboarded the helicopter and got into a auto, which was later found burned out at a shopping centre vehicle park in a Paris suburb. Faid and his accomplices are believed to have ditched the airplane and escaped by auto. All the hostages were released unharmed.

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

The courtyard where the helicopter landed was the only area not protected by anti-aircraft netting.

His infamy has increased since then following appearances in several television shows and the co-authoring of books recounting his past and rise as a criminal in the tough suburbs of Paris. In 2013, he managed to escape a prison in Lille, France.

It was the second time Faid (46) had made a dramatic escape from prison. He briefly took four wardens hostage before being recaptured six weeks later in a cheap hotel room.

Faid is something of a celebrity criminal in France, having embarked on a life of crime in the 1990s when he and his gang pulled off a series of bank- and armored-car heists.

Faid fled on Sunday with three accomplices, according to the sources.

Faid had already previously escaped from jail.

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